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TJU Researchers Develop High-performance Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2024-01-05 10:10:17 | Author: YIN Wei

By YIN Wei

Comparison of conventional and unconventional PEMFC designs. (COURTESY PHOTO)

A team of researchers at Tianjin University (TJU) in north China, headed by Prof. Kui Jiao, has successfully developed a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with ultra-high power density, surpassing the performance of its mainstream counterparts by over 80 percent. The paper on the work was published in the international energy research journal Joule.

In response to global climate change and the pursuit of "dual carbon" goals, the global energy system is undergoing a deep transformation. As a promising low-carbon energy carrier, hydrogen plays a crucial role in this shift. Hydrogen fuel cells are regarded as one of the most promising hydrogen energy application technologies. Nevertheless, enhancing their volumetric power density remains a significant technical challenge.

The TJU team innovatively restructured the architecture of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell, incorporating new components and optimizing the gas-water-electric-thermal transfer paths. They created an ultra-thin, ultra-high power density fuel cell. Using electrospinning to produce ultra-thin carbon nanofiber film and nickel foam, they eliminated the traditional gas diffusion layers and flow channels, reducing the membrane electrode assembly's thickness by about 90 percent and significantly lowering over 80 percent of the mass transfer losses caused by reactant diffusion.

The team estimates that the peak volumetric power density of the fuel cell stack using this new structure could potentially reach 9.8 kilowatts per liter, surpassing the performance of current mainstream products by more than 80 percent. This is both a pivotal breakthrough for advancing proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology and a leap forward in the realm of clean energy.

The co-first authors of the paper are Chasen Tongsh, a doctoral candidate, and assistant researcher Siyuan Wu, both from TJU. The corresponding authors are Prof. Kui Jiao and Prof. Michael Guiver from TJU. Other contributors are Prof. Qing Du from TJU, Prof. Jin Xuan from the University of Surrey, Prof. Nigel Brandon and Prof. Huizhi Wang from Imperial College London, Prof. Jae Wan Park from the University of California, and Wenming Huo, a doctoral candidate from TJU.


Editor: 龙云

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