For further information on the projects below, please contact Professor Kevin Kendall or Dr Shangfeng Du or Dr.P.B.L.Chaurasia
Nano-Particles for Fuel Cells (NAFCELL)
Dr. Shangfeng Du
NAFCELL is a Marie-Curie Action in the Sixth EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6), starting in 2007 £200,000).. The overall aim of NAFCELL is to develop new high performance and economic nanoparticle catalysts for fuel cells. The benefit of this project is that it brings together two disciplines: the chemistry of making catalysts and the engineering of the fuel cells in applications.
New catalysts are needed in practical applications to improve the performance and reduce the costs of fuel cells. By understanding the basic science of nanoparticle catalysts, novel fuel cell MEAs will be produced and tested in engineering applications. The research is based on designing and preparing the electrocatalytic materials by the colloidal technique; then characterizing the nanoparticles by advanced techniques at Birmingham; finally applying and measuring the performance of the nanoparticle catalysts in fuel cell application.
Power generation from solar energy based on PEM fuel cell (SOLARPEMFC)
The SOLAPEMFC is a Programme for Research and Technological Development taken under the Marie-Curie Action in the sixth EU Framework (FP6) started in 2007 (£200,000). The work plan of project is to develop a technology for solar power generation based on fuel cell system based on chemical coupling: 2-propanol/acetone/H2. The work undertaken in the project is multidisciplinary involving expertise mainly in two fields: chemical engineering of hydrogen fuel cell and solar thermal engineering fields to transform the concept of thermo-electrochemical system operating on solar thermal energy into reality for solar power generation. The new solar power generation system shall reduce the processing temperature requirement less than 100ºC and expected to yield high energy conversion efficiency. The novelty of this solar power generation technique is that external hydrogen supply is not required and is sustained from within the system (dehydrogenation/hydrogenation coupling).
Experimental PEM Fuel Cell
The proposed SOLARPEMFC shall consist of various components viz. PEM fuel cell unit, dehydrogenation reactor, flat plate solar collector and other associated components. The work on first component i.e. PEM fuel cell unit is taken up and now under development. The efforts are underway to identify the most appropriate configuration (catalytic electrodes, chemical mixtures, flow rates of liquid oxidant, structures etc.) to maximise power density for designing prototype fuel cell unit which will effectively open the way to push the power generation from solar energy.