Research Portfolio

cdt-programme

The complementary nature of the expertise within the partner universities gives access to a wide range of fuel cell related research areas. Our students are offered an unparalleled range of projects addressing national and international strategic themes within the fuel cell sector.  

With over 50 academics from across a range of subject areas including Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, Political Sciences and Psychology, we are exploring the ways in which fuel cells are developed and brought to market by facing contemporary technical, behavioural and political challenges.

You can apply to join our Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research via any of the following research programmes:

MRes (masters by research) in Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and their Applications (1 yr full time)

PhD in Chemical Engineering (3 yrs full time, research only)

PhD with Integrated Study in Fuel Cells and their Fuels (4 yrs full time, contains 120 taught credits)

Below are the main thematic areas and active research projects within the Centre for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research:

Electrochemistry associated characterisation methods

Current projects:

  • James Walker - Investigation of Binary and Ternary Catalysts to Create Low-Cost, High Performance Electrocatalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells 
  • Aimee Jackson - Manganese oxide-Graphene oxide hybrid support systems for DMFC (and PEMFC) applications
  • Liam Cooper - Coating materials for bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Materials for PEFCs and SOFCs

Materials and components for low temperature fuel cells (PEFC), including intermediate temperature (IT-PEFC) operated at 120 to130 °C, and for high temperature fuel cells (SOFC) operating at 500 to 800 °C; design, components, optimisation and control for low and high temperature fuel cell systems.

Current projects on PEFC materials:

  • Aimee Jackson - Manganese oxide-Graphene oxide hybrid support systems for DMFC (and PEMFC) applications 
  • Sam Eardley - Optimisation of conditions and material properties to maximise the efficiency of interface ion exchange within PEMFC
  • Oliver Fernihough - CCM's (catalyst coated membranes) with textured membranes and stack development
  • Ahmed Ibrahim - Testing filler materials within membranes of an intermediate temperature fuel cell
  • Alan Stephen - Bio-synthesised nanoparticles for PEFC catalysts

Current projects on SOFC materials:

  • Graham Stevenson - Design and Microstructural Control of All-Ceramic Anodes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells and Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells
  • Oujen Hodjati-Pugh - 3D Multiphysics Modelling and Experimental Validation of Microtubular Solid Oxide Fuel Stacks with novel Interconnection.
  • Rhiannon Dixon - Investigating the Use of Noval Dopants for SOFC Anodes to Improve Tolerances to Sulfur and Carbon

Hydrogen Production and Storage

Including the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels and carbon-neutral feedstock, biological processes, and by photochemistry; hydrogen storage, and purification; development of low and high temperature electrolysers.

Current projects:

  • Alan Stephen - Bio-synthesised nanoparticles for PEFC catalysts

  • Marcus Adams - Improved solid state storage efficiency through design

  • Alexandros Symillidi - Developing Next Generation Direct Fuel Cell Systems using Liquid Fuels for Building and Automotive Applications

Direct use of various hydrocarbon fuels in fuel cell systems

Looking at the direct use of various hydrocarbon fuels in fuel cell systems (methane, propane, natural gas, biogas, bio-syn-gas from gasification processes, ethanol etc.), hydrocarbon fuel processing and handling of fuel impurities

Current projects:

  • Rhiannon Dixon - Investigating the Use of Noval Dopants for SOFC Anodes to Improve Tolerances to Sulfur and Carbon

  • Abigail Snowdon - Optimising Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (rSOFC) to reduce degradation in methane assisted co-electrolysis 

  • Aimee Jackson - Manganese oxide-Graphene oxide hybrid support systems for DMFC (and PEMFC) applications

Degradation and Lifetime Phenomena

Including analysis of fuel cell and electrolyser degradation phenomena at various scales from the nano-scale in the functional layers up to the systems level, including the development of accelerated testing procedures.

Current projects:

  • Melissa Oum - Modelling Microstructural and Chemical Degradation of Protective Coatings for SOFC Interconnects

  • Derek Low - The Impact of Environmental Conditions on Fuel Cell Performance

  • Rhiannon Dixon - Investigating the Use of Noval Dopants for SOFC Anodes to Improve Tolerances to Sulfur and Carbon

  • Aimee Jackson - Manganese oxide-Graphene oxide hybrid support systems for DMFC (and PEMFC) applications

  • Abigail Snowdon - Optimising Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (rSOFC) to reduce degradation in methane assisted co-electrolysis 

  • Liam Cooper - Coating materials for bipolar plates in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Design, optimisation and system control for low and high temperature fuel cell systems

Current projects:

  • Alex Thirkell - Fuel Cell Powered Aircraft

  • Naseruddin Khan - Zero-emission energy cycle through fuel cell hybrid vehicles with efficient energy storage system applications 

Socio-Economic and other Cross-Cutting Topics

This includes health issues, public acceptance, economics, market introduction, innovation management; system studies on the benefits of FCH technologies to national and international energy supply.

Current projects: