NICKEFFECT aims to develop novel ferromagnetic Ni-based coating materials to replace the scarce and costly Platinum and ensure high efficiency in key applications.

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Advent Technologies: High-Temperature Membrane and MEA for PEM FCs and WEs

Advent Technologies: High-Temperature Membrane and MEA for PEM FCs and WEs

Advent Technologies SA is an advanced materials and systems development company operating in the competitive fuel cell and hydrogen technology sectors. Advent specializes in the development, manufacturing, and assembly of complete fuel cell systems and critical components that determine the performance of multi-fuel cells and other energy systems such as water electrolyzers. 


Advent’s recently reported Ion-Pair Technology (or protonated HT-PEM) uses a superior PEM with a phosphonated functionalized ionomer binder for HT-PEMFCs based on a phosphoric acid (PA) imbibed polycation. This technology improves fuel cell performance at a wider temperature and humidity range and is already proven at lower-mid TRL levels. Moreover, this technology mitigates phosphoric acid evaporation and leaching through stronger electrostatic interaction of the PA with the inherent polymer functionality. The proof of concept of the ion-pair technology is already developed by Advent and provides excellent results.


Pt is the state-of-the-art electrocatalyst for HER in PEM-WE and PEM-FC followed by other PGMs, due to their superior catalytic activity because of optimal hydrogen intermediate species binding energy. Through the NICKEFFECT program, Advent hopes to reduce or possibly replace the PGM metal (Pt) on the cathode of this core HT-PEM fuel cell products to significantly reduce the manufacturing cost of the cathode GDL without compromising the performance and stability of the MEA. 


Through the NICKEFFECT project, the catalytic substrate will be fully metalized by a lightweight porous Ni-based coating with a larger S/V ratio, thus also excluding the need for the use of an additional ionomer for better ion conduction on the interface of electrode-membrane. The inherent porosity of the GDL will increase the density of the active sites for the specific improvement of the sluggish ORR. Furthermore, Advent will also integrate the new Ni-based cathode for the use case of its new HT-PEM water electrolysis system during the HER. The inherent ferromagnetic behaviour of Ni electrodes will enable the possibility to increase the efficiency of the WE towards the goal of a greener water electrolysis methodology.