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EPSRC Reference: GR/R50417/01
Title: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Electrodes employing Electrically Conducting Polymers
Principal Investigator: Scott, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Roy, Professor S Christensen, Professor P
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
InfumaTech Johnson Matthey Polybiomed Ltd
Solvay (International Chemical Group)
Department: Chemical Engineering & Advanced Material
Organisation: Newcastle University
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 December 2001 Ends: 31 May 2004 Value (£): 150,590
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electrochemical Science & Eng. Fuel Cell Technologies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Energy
Related Grants:
GR/R50363/01 GR/R50493/01
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
To date the preparation of membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEAs) for fuel cells has involved the formation of composite electrode layers comprising the catalyst and proton conducting membrane, notably Nafion. For DMFCs, such MEAs suffer from the serious problem of methanol crossover from anode to cathode, which results in a reduction in cell power and decreased fuel efficiency. Cathode and cell polarisation studies have shown that the extent of polarisation is reduced when the methanol anode solution concentration is reduced, but operation at lower concentrations, e.g. 0.5 M methanol, results in limiting current densities of around 250 mA cm-2It is proposed to research new cation exchange membranes, with reduced methanol crossover characteristics, and to directly deposit electrocatalysts to the surfaces of the membranes. Conducting polymers will be deposited as a very thin layer onto the membrane, or catalysed membrane, to improve the ionic and electronic conductivity between the catalyst particles. This approach, as well as simultaneously resolving problems of methanol crossover and mass transport limitations at the anode, should lead to a significant improvement in cell performance by enabling greater utilisation of the electrocatalyst surface area. It is also anticipated that major reductions in cost will accrue through the replacement of Nafiono by lower cost membranes (typically one tenth the cost), simpler MEA canstnu:tinn qnd a lawr catalyst laadina
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Organisation Website: http://www.ncl.ac.uk