CATAPULT and INSPIRE to minimise use of critical raw materials

Reducing the use of platinum group metals (PGM) in  PEM fuel cells, without decreasing overall performance, is a clear priority at European level. These metals, such as platinum itself (Pt), are not only precious metal elements but their usage in the fuel cell manufacturing processes has an important impact on production costs.

There is therefore the need to develop a technology that supports the minimization of platinum usage, thereby reducing the costs, without an impact on overall performance.

This aspect stands as one of the FCH JU main objectives and of two FCH JU projects, CATAPULT and INSPIRE, made great progress in this area.

FCH JU’s project CATAPULT, now finished, aimed at an extreme reduction of the platinum load in PEM fuel cell cathodes.The goal was pursued through the development of innovative catalytic materials and optimal catalytic layer design.

Several promising materials were identified and tested, demonstrating high durability in accelerated ageing tests aiming at Pt dissolution and carbon corrosion, while further work is still needed to reach competitive fuel cell performance in the Membrane Electrode Assembly. This will be tackled by the new FCH JU project INSPIRE, which started in May 2016.

Discover project CATAPULT here

Discover project INSPIRE here