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Low Thermal Conversion Platinum Group Precursors for the Spray Printing of Fuel Cells

Project ID: 2228cd1358 (You will need this ID for your application)

Under Offer

Research Theme: Advanced Materials

UCL Lead department: Chemistry

Department Website

Lead Supervisor: Caroline Knapp

Project Summary:

Why is this research important… The energy landscape is changing: UK and global net zero targets present significant changes for the fuel cell industry. Metallic catalysts are used for a wide range of applications in the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in membrane fuel cells. While various methods have been proposed, to date little attention has been paid to metalorganic precursors for the deposition of fuel cell catalysts. Currently suitable precursors do not exist and as such this project will employ expertise in synthesis to solve these problems: new precursors will be tailored specifically to be incorporated into vital next generation clean energy technologies. The aim of this project is to produce fuel cells and electrolysers via spray printing, as a low-cost alternative to state-of-the-art methods. This will be achieved through development of novel molecular platinum, palladium, ruthenium and iridium precursors, which once formulated into metal inks will be used to spray mixed-metal catalyst layers into a fully spray printed fuel cell architecture.

Who you will be working with… An inspiring team across two departments: this project will bring together strong synthetic chemistry in precursor design from the Knapp group at UCL Chemistry with the internationally renowned fuel cell experts at UCL Chemical Engineering in the Miller group. What you will be doing… The Knapp group will share their widespread expertise in the design, synthesis and characterisation of metalorganic precursors using air/moisture free techniques (Schlenk, glovebox, etc.). Key targets will be the deposition of Pt group metals via spray printing for incorporation into fuel cells. Who we are looking for… Rising to global challenges offers great opportunities for economic growth and societal benefit, we are looking for motivated, free-thinkers who want to use synthetic chemistry to shape the future energy landscape.