Research Reports

Institute: Bath

Engineering for solid hydrogen: designing nanoporous materials for enhanced hydrogen storage

Dr Valeska Ting (University of Bath)

This project will investigate the structural (pore) characteristics of carbon-based hydrogen storage materials that enable solid-like, supercritical hydrogen storage. The aim is to understand how new materials can be constructed that will provide the same level of densification alonside higher pore volumes for increased storage capacity.

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Institute: Liverpool

Plasma-catalytic reforming of biogas into renewable and clean hydrogen

Dr Xin Tu (University of Liverpool)

The project aims to develop a novel plasma-catalytic process for biogas reforming at low temperatures that can deliver affordable, sustainable and clean hydrogen.

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Institute: UCL

Definition of a UK green hydrogen standard

Dr Paul Dodds

This project is examining how a green hydrogen standard could be defined and how it could provide a foundation to support the development of hydrogen and fuel cells through existing and new policy instruments in the future. Two draft working papers have been produced that summarise green hydrogen definitions and identify relevant policy areas. The responses to the DECC call for evidence are being analysed.

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Institute: Southampton

Covalently stabilised carbonaceous catalyst supports for polymer electrolyte fuel cells and electrolysers

Dr Denis Kramer

This project aims to develop corrosion-stable support materials for Polymer-Electrolyte Fuel Cells and Electrolysers to mitigate a key degradation mode that limits the lifetime of these devices. Currently the best supports are made out of carbon, which slowly corrodes in the hot, acidic, oxidising environment. The project seeks to this carbon with inorganic carbides, which are more resistant to corrosion. This should make fuel cells work longer and electrolysers cheaper to make.

See website for further details.

Institute: Surrey

A low-cost carbon-based oxygen electrode for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Dr Qiong Cai

This project aims to develop noble-metal free, carbon-based catalysts, to make significant advancement for polymer electrolyte membrame fuel cells (PEMFCs). This would provide a low cost, environmentally sustainable, high performance energy technology solution. With optimised carbon catalyst, the PEMFCs are expected to have improved cycling and steady state durability.

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Institute: South Wales

Biohydrogen production by fermentation and bioelectrolysis

Prof Alan Guwy (University of South Wales)

Prof Richard Dinsdale (University of South Wales)

Prof Giuliano Premier (University of South Wales)

The study is seeking to design a fully integrated biohydrogen production process using fermentation and bioelectrolysis. To date, it has shown for the first time that hydrogen yield and volatile fatty acids (VFA) in a continuous biohydrogen fermenter can be increased by using in situ electrochemical hydrogen separation, CO2 removal and VFA separation via electrodialysis.

Results of the project have been presented at the APEC Biohydrogen conference in Malaka, Malaysia Dec 2014 and at the 72nd IEA-HIA ExCo meeting, Netherlands 2015.

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Part 2: View Powerpoint

Institute: Lancaster & St-Andrews

Application of novel electrode structures developed for SOFC technologies into AFC systems to increase anode performance and cycling durability

Dr Richard Dawson

Prof John Irvine


This project will be investigating the use of exsolution decorated, electronically conductive, perovskite materials to produce alkaline fuel cell (AFC) electrode structures. It is hoped these structures will display enhanced activity, improved startup characteristics, and improved cycling and steady state durability.

Work has been completed at St Andrews developing and tailoring methods for generating high surface area powders with large numbers of active exsolutions of candidate electrocatalyst. This has been complemented by electrode development and testing at Lancaster University.

Institute: Imperial College

Application of 3D imaging and analysis to the design of improved current collectors for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Prof Nigel Brandon

Prof Alan Atkinson


This project sought to apply 3D imaging and modelling methods to develop a design tool that would support the design of current collectors for SOFC electrodes.

The result was the development and demonstration of a new methodology to understand how porous ceramic materials respond to point loads. This was validated against 3D imaging and nano-indentation experiments on SOFC cathodes.

Institute: Oxford (All)

Increased impact from UK Research Council supported hydrogen and/or fuel cell research

Prof Bill David

Dr Martin Owen Jones

This project enables UK hydrogen and fuel cell researchers to design and commission specialist sample environments for use at ISIS. These sample environments are designed to perform simultaneous neutron scattering and functional property measurements of hydrogen and fuel cell materials and systems, under regimes of temperature, pressure and environment that most closely approximate to real-world application conditions.

ISIS will collaborate directly with both existing and new H2FC SUPERGEN users of ISIS to design experiments, including the development of novel sample environments. Enhanced characterisation facilities for the community will lead to considerable advances in the understanding of hydrogen storage and fuel cell materials, which, in turn, will lead to the development of new materials, system designs and architectures and, ultimately, improved performance.

Institute: UCL (all)

Dimensional change in polymer electrolyte fuel cells: from electrode to stack

Dr Dan Brett

Dr Paul Shearing

Prof Xiao Guo

This project will examine dimensional change at the electrode, electrolyte, gas diffusion layer, cell and stack level.

The project has delivered a controlled compression stack assembly that can be used by commercial stacks. The use of X-ray computed tomography has been demonstrated for examining the deformation of the fibres in gas diffusion layers when put under compression, while the quartz crystal microbalance was used to probe water uptake dynamics and associated membrane dimensional change.

Ongoing work is being undertaken to use neutron imaging to understand the role of water in determining dimensional change in components, and to use electrochemical atomic force microscopy to examine the effect of dimensional change induced by ionomer swelling in electrodes.

An extensive presentation on the project’s progress can be found here.