Integration of Novel Stack Components for Performance, Improved Durability and Lower Cost



TUM member of Consortium led by Johnson Matthey to develop advanced technology for fuel cell electric vehicles


·         INSPIRE is a three-year programme supported by a grant of €7.0 million from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), under Grant Agreement Number 700127, a unique public-private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration in the fuel cell and hydrogen energy sectors in Europe.

·         The project will validate the next generation of automotive fuel cell stack technology and accelerate the commercialisation of high performance, zero emission, fuel cell electric vehicles

·         Consortium members include fuel cell component suppliers, academic institutions and car manufacturer BMW Group.


Munich, 26 August 2016 –TUM is partner in a major European consortium led by Johnson Matthey aiming at developing higher performance, longer lifetime membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for integration into new, high power output fuel cell stack technology. The consortium will work in close collaboration of industrial and academic partners to bring forward materials and components already showing considerable promise in current or former FCH JU projects, integrate them for enhanced performance in stacks and demonstrate their capability to be manufactured in volume. Johnson Matthey is a major global supplier of platinum-based catalyst layers, catalysed membranes and fully-integrated MEAs.  The MEA is the most critical component of automotive fuel cells. Major European fuel cell component developers SGL Carbon GmbH will work on the carbon fibre gas diffusion layer part of the MEA; and DANA Holding Corp. will be developing an optimised design of metallic bipolar plate that delivers the hydrogen and air to the MEA and transmits the electricity generated to power the vehicle. BMW Group will set out the requirements for the stack and assemble the MEAs and bipolar plates into new stack designs aimed at achieving the cost, durability and volumetric power density targets required for mass market exploitation.

In addition to the industry component developers, the project involves partners working on next generation catalysts, electrodes and membranes from CNRS Montpellier, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., Technical University of Berlin, the University of Freiburg and Technical University of Munich. Project management support is provided by Pretexo.

The Electrochemical Research Group led by Dr. Oliver Schneider, which is integrated in the Institute of Informatics VI (Prof. A. Knoll) and collaborates with the Chair of Physical Chemistry of Prof. Heiz, carries out the work at TUM. The focus is on the preparation and characterisation of advanced catalyst materials for the fuel cell. This work is in part based on experience from the former FCH JU project “CathCat” that was coordinated by TUM.

The three-year project got off to a great start as representatives from the partners and the FCH JU gathered at Johnson Matthey’s Technology Centre, near Reading, UK, on 9th/10th May to launch the project and develop the detailed plans for its first phase.  As well as realising the potential of advanced stack materials and components and validating them in the next generation of automotive fuel cell stacks, the project will consolidate a European supply chain for these critical fuel cell stack components and increase the competitiveness of the European fuel cell industry on the world stage.



About the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration (RTD) activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe.  Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, the fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Research Grouping N.ERGHY.


Contact: PD Dr. Oliver Schneider


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