Grupo Antolin to research potential of carbon nanofibres for hydrogen fuel cells

Grupo Antolin to research potential of carbon nanofibres for hydrogen fuel cells

Grupo Antolin has revealed today (June 3) that it is studying the potential of carbon nanofibres in improving the efficiency, durability and cost of hydrogen fuel cells.

The company has said that it wants to contribute to the development of key technologies to make electric and hydrogen mobility more cost-effective, efficient and accessible to drive sustainable mobility.

As part of its innovation line, Grupo Antolin has been working on the development of processes to produce carbon nanofibres with optimised properties for different industrial applications.

This includes sectors such as aeronautics, textiles, chemical, electronics and automotive.

Read more: New consortium to develop advanced hydrogen fuel cell technology for heavy-duty trucks

Read more: New, free-to-access fuel cell simulation platform launched

In this application, carbon nanofibres serve as physical support for platinum nanoparticles that act as a catalyst for certain chemical reactions.

Because of its properties, nanofibres reduce the amount of platinum that is needed and significantly improves the durability of the electrodes as well as the over efficiency of the system.

The company say polymeric electrolyte protonic exchange membranes (PEMFC) have the most potential for hydrogen fuel cells due to its high-power density and operating range.

Grupo Antolin researchers have focused on combining the potential of its carbon nanofibres with an appropriate deposition process so that it can be applied to the manufacturing of membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

This is part of the company’s ambition to become a benchmark in the automotive industry with its respect for the environment, as well as for its contribution to the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Javier Villacampa, Innovation Director at Grupo Antolin, said, “So far, we have achieved very promising results in laboratory testing, generating MEA devices with yields, in terms of electrical power, comparable to those marketed.

“We have achieved this using half platinum and with degradation levels ten times lower after the same operating cycles.”

Exclusive: Fuel cells are not ‘fool cells’

© Ballard

For Nina Hjorth, Director of Strategy and Market Development at Ballard Power Systems, there’s one misconception around fuel cells that always stands out to her.

“Some specific individuals like to refer to fuel cells as ‘fool cells’ and keep arguing against the role of hydrogen and fuel cells in the future energy system,” she told H2 View. “To me, it’s not a matter of the one technology over the other; I say that both fuel cells and batteries are two complementary technologies, and both are needed to face our climate challenges and to decarbonise the transport industry.”

“I think that ‘either or’ perception is one of the biggest misconceptions around our technology. It’s a joint effort from several technologies to get us to the end game.”

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