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€3.9M European project to develop automotive fuel cell MEAs with ultra-low platinum loadings

ITM Power announced it received confirmation of a €3.9 million (US$4.96 million) grant award to a consortium to develop Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) with ultra-low platinum loadings for automotive applications. ITM Power’s share of this award is €0.59 million (US$.75 million), recognized over the three years of the program.

One of the main cost issues for the commercialization of fuel cells is the amount of the platinum (Pt) that is used as catalyst in the cathode where the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) takes place. Known as the IMPACT project and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme, the project aims to improve the lifetime (>5,000 hours) of PEM fuel cells with MEAs containing ultra-low platinum loadings (<0.2 mg/cm2).

In particular, the project addresses the understanding of degradation processes which apply to such MEAs; understanding the relationship between degradation, lifetime and platinum loading; development of improved MEA components (membranes, dispersions, catalysts); improved performance under dynamic operating conditions.

ITM Power’s main role in the project is to further develop its hydrocarbon PEM membrane offering and to evaluate the performance and durability of MEAs developed in the project under the agreed dynamic operating conditions and to undertake assessment of low-platinum-loading approaches.

ITM Power will be working in a consortium of 12 members, led by Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR), comprising:

  • Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA)
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche(CNR-ITAE)
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.
  • European Commission, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre
  • Institute for Energy (JRC-IE)
  • Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells Limited
  • University of Applied Science Esslingen
  • TU Berlin
  • Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse
  • Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)



Im interrested to buy, is it clear now... Put a local hydrogen station near where i live and put a hydrogen car for sale near where i live, it's not complicated to understand. these car manufacturers are still selling costly polluting gasoline car actually. Postpone all expenditure toward new gasoline car till they put for sale hydrogen cars, no more waiting.


a.b. the majority of us will continue to buy lowest cost vehicles regardless of how much pollution and CO2 is created.

We are not used to buy higher quality products, specially if cost is higher.

To sell higher cost EVs or FCs, those vehicles would have to make the owners look much richer or wealthier than they are? Fake Gold plated or fake silver-nickel plated may do it? Double thickness doors to make those vehicles look bigger than they are may also help. Stretchable units could also be another way to make owners look more important.

Roger Pham

Good point, HD!
That's what I've been suggesting all along. New hence more expensive technological products must cater to the taste of the rich in order to be successful in the market. This is marketing 101. Once cost savings in production line due to experience and volume, then, the price will come down for the middle class.

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