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
- SOLVAY SOLEXIS S.p.A.
- University of Applied Science Esslingen
- TU Berlin
- Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse
- Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW)