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Development of Composite Nanomaterials for Hydrogen Energy Devices (DeCNaHED)
Start date: 01 Oct 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project will deal with development of new materials for emerging hydrogen and fuel cell technologies using nanotechnology approach. Main focus will be to develop low price novel composite inorganic/polymer membranes for electrolyser and fuel cell (PEM/DMFC) applications. The basic approach is to use a novel procedure for double cross-linking of sulfonated PEEK in order to improve the membrane stability and electrochemical performance in FC (patent application is submitted). The synthesis procedure is simple and it will not involve any expensive, and harmful and corrosive components. The membrane will be modified by adding inorganic nanoparticles and blending with polybenzimidazole (PBI). Standard characterization methods for membranes will be applied. Morphological studies and electrochemical and spectroscopic methods will be used as a basic ones for this project. However, from practical point of view the components are embedded in a macrosystems (fuel cell, electrolyser, battery) and they are exposed to real working conditions of device, which might include high electric current flow and high electric field gradient. It is limiting long term stability. About 0.1% power decrease per 1000 hrs is generally accepted for stationary applications, which is difficult milestone for nanomaterials. In this project the main focus will be on integrated approach. The membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) will be produced and material properties will study from point view of working assembly. In our Project the complex approaches combining aspects of device physics and nanotechnology and using multiphysics modeling will be used to address similar complex problems. Multiphysics modeling software Comsol will be applied in order to specify the device performance conditions and reactor designs under which the MEA degradation is minimized. Effort is planned to link the multiphysics modeling with practical experiment.
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