Fuel cells are an efficient, practical and potentially cost-effective way of converting stored energy, in the form of hydrogen or other chemicals, directly into electrical energy, thereby providing a unidirectional link between the gas and electricity networks (see also Theme 3—Power-to-gas). They offer higher efficiency and smaller scale operation compared to gas turbines, without some of the capacity and other limitations of batteries. The main technical challenges to more widespread adoption of fuel cell technology are the cost of fuel cell stacks and hydrogen storage. 


Low temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are a leading fuel cell technology for both transport and stationary applications. Significant market penetration of PEMFCs is currently hindered by the high cost of fuel cell stacks, including the membrane, bipolar plates and, in particular, catalysts. In partnership with PO Shenzhen ShengShi Investment and Development Group, and building up on the discovery of CI Dai of low cost catalysts, this subtheme will bring together joint expertise in fuel cell prototyping, membrane technology and catalysis to develop efficient and low cost PEMFCs.



Theme Leader

Prof. Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou leads the Material Energy Research Laboratory in nanoscale (MERLin). His research is focused on the physical-chemistry of light metals and their hydrides at the nano-scale.