Project Leader(s): Prof Keith Scott
Contact: Prof Keith Scott
Partners: This proposal relates to the DSTL Joint Grants Scheme component of the EPSRC Supergen proposal. It will be carried out in St Andrews with part subcontracted to Newcastle. EPSRC will fund work in Imperial Newcastle, St Andrews and Nottingham in the main
This proposal relates to the DSTL Joint Grants Scheme component of the EPSRC Supergen proposal. It will be carried out in St Andrews with part subcontracted to Newcastle. EPSRC will fund work in Imperial Newcastle, St Andrews and Nottingham in the main Supegen component. The two parts will be fully integrated.
Fuel Cells are receiving considerable attention as clean, highly efficient devices for the production of both electricity and, for some applications, high grade waste heat, with the recent DTI study ‘A fuel cell vision for the UK (2003)’ predicting 5 million fuel cell vehicles and 10 GW of residential and commercial generation by 2020. However, considerable technical challenges remain for this promise to be realised. Specifically, advances are needed in the areas of as-manufactured fuel cell integrity, particularly with regards to the thick film ceramic electrolytes adopted in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, in fuel cell durability, in fuel cell power density, and in fuel flexibility, whether this be the ability to use renewable fuels such as bio-alcohols, or the ability to use logistic fuels such as diesel or kerosene. Furthermore, all of these issues need to be addressed in the context of the ultimate capital and operating cost of the fuel cell.
The current, well-developed PEMFC technology, based on perfluoro-sulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer membranes (e.g. Nafion®) as electrolyte, has limitations due to the low temperature of operation, namely; conductivity and water management issues slow oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), a low tolerance to fuel impurities, e.g. CO (and S) and serious cooling problems and poor heat recovery (for residential applications). In contrast, operating at higher temperature gives several benefits including; enhanced tolerance to CO and greatly reduced humidification issues.
We will focus our efforts onto the leading technologies namely high temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (HT-PEMFCs) and high temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (HT-SOFCs).
The key objectives are:
Prof. Keith Scott