Ti trovi qui: Home » Research Projects » FAR 2016 ...

FAR 2016---Innovative (oxide-based) materials and methods for fuel cell electrodes implementation

PI: Professor Sergio Valeri

Research team : Marcello Romagnoli, Marina Vignola, 

Research areas:  Cataysis; New design and manufacturing; Innovative materials; Economics and business


The goal of the project is the design-driven synthesis of innovative materials to be used in fuel cell anodes with optimized performances, to overcome the critical aspects of traditional electrodes containing expensive and rare platinum group metals. The interest will be focused on materials based on reducible oxides combined with metals in the form of nanoparticles and as surface dopants. The approach to identify the most promising compounds will be based on a continuous feedback between theoretical modeling, materials synthesis, and chemical-physical characterization of the material activity. Multi-scale simulations based on density functional theory and molecular dynamics will allow to obtain an atomic scale understanding of the functionalities of the most promising materials. A multi-scale approach will be used also in the synthesis of the identified compounds. We will start with studies of model systems, prepared by physical methods and characterized at the atomic scale by advanced experimental techniques, to identify the materials with suitable electronic properties for the desired application. We will then identify novel promising architectures (i.e. core-shell nanoparticles or nanostructured porous films), and proceed to the synthesis of materials with maximized concentration of the active sites identified in the previous steps. We will test the selected materials towards methanol and hydrogen oxidation. We will indeed also control the electronic and protonic conductivity and the stability of the chosen compounds after the reaction. Innovative deposition methods, scalable to industrial implementation, will also be explored and used to prepare test electrodes. The economic impact of the introduction of fuel cells with innovative electrodes on the production market will be analyzed and the results will provide an important feedback for a smart and sustainable choice of the specific materials to be implemented.


Research programme: FAR 2016

Funds: 80.000 €

start date: 01/06/2017

duration: 18 months