Fuel cells:

Fuel cells

  • Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Mohammed S Ismail

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are one of the most promising clean power conversion technology that has been increasingly adopted by several countries to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas emissions. However, there are still some challenges that must be overcome to increase the deployment of the technology, such as water flooding and low durability. Fuel cell modelling is an effective way to reduce the amount of the experimentation needed to test new designs and/or materials. However, the prediction of the modelled fuel cell relies on a large number of input parameters such as the gas permeability, the electrical conductivity, the diffusivity and the contact angle. The main objective of this project is to precisely estimate these input parameters experimentally in order to enhance the predictions of the modelled PEM fuel cell.

     

  • Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Nanoscale imaging of the cathode electrodes used in PEM fuel cells

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Mohammed S Ismail

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are a promising clean power conversion technology as they are efficient and can operate at low temperatures. Therefore, they can be used in a wide range of portable, automotive and stationary applications. The cathode electrode is the main source of performance loss in PEM fuel cells and this is due to low utilisation of the catalyst and the slow reaction rate. The main objective of this project is nanoscale image the normally-used cathode electrodes using X-ray computed tomography and/or Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron microscopy (FIB-SEM). These images will be used to obtain insights on how to improve the performance of the cathode electrodes through, for example, performing pore-scale simulations and extracting effective morphological parameters.

     

  • Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Novel cathode electrodes for PEM fuel cells

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Mohammed S Ismail

     

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells can operate at low temperatures and are scalable. Therefore, they can be used in a wide range of applications, such as portable, automotive and stationary applications. The cathode electrode is the main source of performance loss in PEM fuel cells. This is due to low utilisation of the catalyst and the slow reaction rate. The main objective of this project is to optimise the structure of the cathode electrode to substantially increase its utilisation. Modelling tools will be used to optimise the structures of the catalyst before synthesising and testing them.

     

  • Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Efficient PEM fuel cells for portable applications

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Dr Kevin Hughes and Dr Mohammed S Ismail

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are an efficient technology which can be used in a wide portable, automotive and stationary applications. Due to its simplicity and relatively high efficiency, the use of the air-breathing PEM fuel cells, where oxygen is directly supplied to the fuel cell from the ambient, to power small electronic devices such as smartphones and notebooks is appealing. In such applications, such types of fuel cells could either replace the rechargeable batteries or charge them. The main objective of this project is to enhance the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the air-breathing fuel cells through employing new designs and/or materials. The project could involve building a prototype of the fuel cell system that powers a small electronic device and/or producing a mathematical/CFD model.

     

  • Characterisation of the porous media used in PEM fuel cells

    Novel gas diffusion layers and catalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Supervisor: Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Professor Lin Ma, Professor Derek Ingham and Dr Kevin Hughes

    Fuel cells have been considered as one of the promising technologies for the next generation energy production systems, because of their high energy efficiency and low pollutant emission. However, fuel cell technology is still in its early stage of development. Many scientifically challenging problems have to be solved in order to make them cost effective and thus commercially viable. In this project, novel designs of gas diffusion layer and catalyst support will be investigated. This will involve the synthesis and characterisation of novel mesoporous materials with highly ordered structures and high surface area and pore volume. These have potential in terms of improved electrical conductivity and catalyst support over conventional carbon fibre based gas diffusion layers.