Precious metal free electrocatalysts for regenerative alkaline fuel cells
Fuel cells produce emission-free, efficient and sustainable electrical energy out of hydrogen and oxygen from air for various applications in the fields of mobile, portable and stationary. Regenerative fuel cells (RFCs) can reverse the occurring reactions to produce hydrogen and oxygen for efficiently storing electrical energy. Alkaline media enable the use of non-noble metals such as Ni, Fe, Co. For the development of novel catalysts for RFC systems, a broad knowledge of synthesis and manufacturing methods, the structure of nanoparticle catalysts and all fundamental processes, which occur on their surface during the electrochemical reactions, are necessary.
This project aims the synthesis and characterization of cost-effective materials towards hydrogen evolution (HER) and oxygen reduction reactions (ORR) for both devices the fuel cell and single electrolyzer. Combined transition metal-based catalysts dispersed on a carbon substrate will be investigated to single out finally the most effective HER cathode with low overpotentials. At the same time, the ORR reactivity on transition metal oxides (Fe, Co, Ni etc.) will be also studied.
Within the fruitful collaboration of the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology (CEET) from Graz University of Technology and the Institute de Chimie des Milieux et Matriaux de Poitiers (IC2MP) located at the Universit de Poitiers, the existing knowledge to synthesize and further develop highly active non-noble metal catalysts by testing, monitoring and characterisation will be enhanced by the investigation of novel materials and kinetics as well as the durability and stability in in-situ applications under real conditions.