Precious metal free electrocatalysts for regenerative alkaline fuel cells

Project: Research project


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 (ORR) reactions 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
Effective start/end date1/01/1931/12/20