Long-life PEM-FCH &CHP systems at temperatures ≥100°C

Project Information
Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Stationary power production and CHP
Project fact sheet: 


The present proposal aims at the development of SPG&CHP systems based on Polymeric Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Hydrogen (PEMFCH). A drawback in the state-of-the-art systems is the too low operating temperatures (70-80°C) of PEMFCHs for cogeneration purposes. Operating temperatures above 100°C would have several advantages including easier warm water distribution in buildings, reduced anode poisoning due to carbon monoxide impurities in the fuel and improved fuel oxidation kinetics. A PEMFCH operating in the temperature range of 100-130°C is highly desirable and could be decisive for the development of SPG&CHP systems based on PEMFCHs. The main objective of the present project is to give a clear demonstration that long-life SPG&CHP systems based on PEMFCHs operating above 100°C can now be developed on the basis of recent knowledge on the degradation mechanisms of ionomeric membranes and on innovative synthetic approaches recently disclosed by some participants of this project. Main research tasks: (1) Develop long life (longer 40000 hrs) perfluoro sulfonic acid membranes and sulfonated aromatic polymer membranes operating at 100-130°C with current density of at least 4000A/m2; (2) Create new long-life catalytic electrodes and MEAs working in the above temperature range; (3) Perform accelerated ageing tests and long-term single cell tests to understand degradation mechanisms, to make lifetime predictions and to give input to objectives 1 and 2; (4) Develop a prototype of a modular SPG&CHP system based on multi-PEMFCHs realized with the new long-life MEAs; (5) Benchmarking the single-cell and the modular prototype performance at temperatures above 100°C against the best literature results. The project will benefit from the synergy arising from the know-how of leading research groups of universities and research institutes as well as from the technical knowledge and expertise of industries and utility companies involved in fuel cell development and testing.

Project details
Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.3.3 Degradation and life-time fundamentals
Project type: 
Basic and long-term research
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Friday, January 1, 2010
End date: 
Monday, December 31, 2012
36 months
Project cost: 
€ 2,677,298.40
Project funding: 
€ 1,360,227

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy

Mr Giuseppe BARBIERI
Contact email: 
Other participating organisations: 
Universityof Rome “Tor Vergata” Italy
University of Provence France
University of Saarbrucken Germany
Edison Italy
Fumatech Germany
Matgas 2000 Spain
Cracow University of Technology                         Poland
Patents and Publications
H. Hou, M. L. Di Vona, P. Knauth, ChemSusChem 18/11/2011, 1-12, "Durability of Sulfonated Aromatic Polymers for Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells"
P. Knauth, H. Hou, E. Bloch, E. Sgreccia, M. L. Di Vona, Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 29/07/2011, 361-365, "Thermogravimetric analysis of SPEEK membranes: Thermal stability, degree of sulfonation and cross-linking reaction"
P. Knauth, E. Sgreccia, A. Donnadio, M. Casciola, M. L. Di Vona, Journal of the Electrochemical Society 07/12/2010, 159-165, "Water activity coefficient and proton mobility in hydrate acidic polymers"
H. Hou, M.L Di Vona, P Knauth, Journal of Membranes Science 17/08/2012, 113-127, "Building Bridges:Crosslinking of Sulfonated Aromatic Polymers – a Review"
P Knauth; ML Di Vona, Solid State Ionics 25/02/2012, 255-259, "Sulfonated aromatic ionomers: Analysis of proton conductivity and proton mobility"
M. L. Di Vona,G. Alberti,bE. Sgreccia, M. Casciola,P. Knauthc, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 24/03/2012, 8672-8680, "High Performance Sulfonated Aromatic Ionomers by Solvothermal Macromolecular Synthesis"
Alberti, ML. Di Vona , R. Narducci, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 15/09/2011, 6302-6307, "New Results on the Visco-Elastic Behaviour of Ionomer Membranes and Relations Between T-RH Plots and Proton Conductivity Decay of Nafion 117 in the Range 50-140°C"
Fontananova E., Cucunato V., Curcio E., Trotta F., Biasizzo M., Drioli E., Barbieri G., Electrochimica Acta 30/01/2012, 164-172, "Influence of the preparation conditions on the properties of polymeric and hybrid cation exchange membranes"
Brunetti A., Fontananova E., Donnadio A., Casciola M., Di Vona M.L., Sgreccia E., Drioli E., Barbieri G, Journal of Power Sources 24/01/2012, 222-230, "New approach for the evaluation of membranes transport properties for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells"
A. Donnadio, M. Casciola, M.L. Di Vona, M. Tamilvanan, Journal of Power Sources 11/01/2012, 145-150, "Conductivity and hydration of sulfonated polyethersulfone in the range 70-120°C: effect of temperature and relative humidity cycling"
F. Arena,J. MitzelR. Hempelmann, Fuel Cells 19/12/2012, 56-64, "Permeability and Diffusivity Measurements on Polymer Electrolyte Membranes"
J. Mitzel, F. Arena,H. Natter,T. Walter,M. Batzer,M. Stefener,R. Hempelmann, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 11/10/2011, 6261-6267, "Electrodeposition Of PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts By The Use Of A Hydrogen Depolarized Anode"
E. Fontananova, A. Brunetti, F. Trotta,M. Biasizzo, E. Drioli,G. Barbieri, Fuel Cells 08/11/2012, 86-97, "Stabilization of Sulfonated Aromatic Polymer (SAP) Membranes Based on SPEEK-WC for PEMFCs"
Alberti, G.; Narducci, R.; Di Vona, M. L.; Giancola, S, Fuel Cells 08/11/2012, 42-47, "Annealing of Nafion 1100 in the Presence of an Annealing Agent: A Powerful Method for Increasing Ionomer Working Temperature in PEMFCs"
Knauth, P.; Pasquini, L.; Maranesi, B.; Pelzer, K.; Polini, R.; Di Vona, M. L, Fuel Cells 16/03/2013, 79-95, "Proton Mobility in Sulfonated PolyEtherEtherKetone (SPEEK): Influence of Thermal Crosslinking and Annealing"
H. Hou, B. Maranesi, JF Chailan, M Khadhraoui, R. Polini, ML Di Vona, P Knauth, Journal of Materials Research 14/08/2012, 1950-1957, "Crosslinked SPEEK membranes:?Mechanical, thermal and hydrothermal properties"
B. Maranesi, L. Pasquini, M. Khadhraoui, P. Knauth, M. L. Di Vona, Materials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings 01/03/2012, 60-65, "Proton-Conducting Cross-Linked Sulfonated Aromatic Polymers for Fuel Cells Application"
B. Maranesi, H. Hou, R. Polini, E. Sgreccia,G. Alberti, R. Narducci, P. Knauth,L. Di Vona, Fuel Cells 18/02/2013, 107–117, "Cross-linking of sulfonated poly ether ether ketone by thermal treatment: how does the reaction occur?"
Alberti, G.; Narducci, R.; Di Vona, M. L.; Giancola, S., Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research 14/03/2013, 0-0, "More on NAFION conductivity decay at temperatures higher than 80°C: preparation and first characterization of in-plane oriented layered morphologies"
F. Arena,J. Mitzel, R. Hempelmann, Zeitschrift fur Physikalische Chemie 11/02/2013, 0-0, "Electrocatalyst–Membrane Interface and Fuel Cell Performance with Sulfonated PolyEtherEtherKetone as Ionomer"