EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I013229/1
Title: Low Cost High Performance Novel Catalysts for Direct Alcohol Alkaline Fuel Cells using anion exchange membrane and bio-fuels
Principal Investigator: Lin, Professor W
Other Investigators:
Hu, Professor P Hardacre, Professor C
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemistry and Chemical Eng
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 24 August 2011 Ends: 31 October 2014 Value (£): 536,149
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Fuel Cell Technologies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 Oct 2010 China Energy Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This UK-China (QUB-DICP) joint project will aim to provide low cost high performance Portable Power Fuel Cell technology capable of operating on alcohol containing fuels with an emphasis on use of biofuels such as bio-ethanol and glycerol, from bio-feedstocks. The collaborative research seeks to seize the initiative in low temperature fuel cell research and development by capitalising upon extremely promising results on Direct Alcohol Alkaline Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (DA-AAEM-FC) development by both China and UK teams, and exciting data in the literature on anode and cathode catalysts for alcohol-fuelled alkaline fuel cells. The electro-catalytic oxidation of alcohols under alkaline conditions is relatively unexplored, but with some extremely promising reports in the literature on low cost but highly active and selective non-Pt catalysts. Our main strategy is to extend the range of potential fuels, ultimately to side products, waste and (cheap) products from sustainable bio-refining. The broadening of fuel cell fuels from hydrogen and methanol, fuels generally produced from fossil fuels, to bio-feedstocks, e.g. bioethanol, will greatly decrease reliance on fossil fuels for portable power generation. In addition, the use of direct biofeedstock fuel cells as power sources for portable devices as compared to Li-ion rechargeable, will reduced reliance of fossil fuels on electricity generation. In addition, the diversification of feedstock will allow higher energy density fuels to be employed, for example ethanol provides 24 MJ l-1 compared with methanol at 16 MJ l-1. In addition, the safety aspects can be tailored for the application, for example methanol is toxic and this prevents wider deployment of portable fuel cell systems into areas and environments where this is a concern, e.g. in aircraft cabins. The time scale of benefit will be dependent on the continuing introduction of portable power devices based on fuel cells. Flexibility in the form of the fuel used and its purity without having a detrimental effect on the fuel cell lifetime will provide a significant opportunity and impact in future years. The development of an efficient, durable alkaline fuel cell, utilising cheaper catalysts and accessing a wider range of fuels will have a major impact on a number of aspects of power/energy technology. The UK and China teams have strong and complementary skills relevant to the proposed work. Both teams have demonstrated individual achievements and are trying to develop the strength-plus-strength cooperation on electro-catalysis and fuel cell R&D, through this novel and challenging joint project, with a continue two-way transfer of knowledge throughout the project. The joint project will timely provide an excellent platform for the UK and China teams to establish a long-term win-win partnership for working together on the clean sustainable energy technology which will bring great benefits to both countries.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk