R&D activities within the IEA Advanced Fuel Cell Program - Task 31

Within the framework of Task 31, a research paper was published about the recent advancements in high performance polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrode fabrication.

The review paper entitled "Recent advancements in high performance polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrode fabrication - novel materials and manufacturing processes" was written to compare the state of the art in the key parameters of PEFC, power density and platinum utilisation. The goal was to summarise recent trends in MEA fabrication research and to analyse the performance gain from novel materials (catalyst, carbon support and polymer electrolyte) and methods for MEA fabrication. The following pathways to increase performance, platinum utilisation and lifetime were identified:


- Improving the oxygen accessibility of the catalyst by chemical masking (ODT approach).

- Chemical modification of the ionomer to increase proton conductivity by reducing the side chain length on the one hand or oxygen permeability by modifying the PSFA groups on the other (HOPI approach).

- Ink-mixing techniques have a significant impact on fuel cell performance and therefore need to be studied more carefully.

- Further explore the degradation processes of non-precious metal catalysts to develop their potential.

- Industrialise novel manufacturing methods such as ultrasonic spray coating or electrospinning to achieve similar production rates to slot die coating. 

- Increase the ECSA of catalysts with unusually high specific activity (e.g. shape-controlled catalysts) and develop methods to mitigate poisoning by the sulfonic acid groups in PFSA or improve oxygen accessibility, e.g. by using highly mesoporous carbon supports.


You can find the full report here.

The Technology Collaboration Programme on the Research, Development and Demonstration on Advanced Fuel Cells (Advanced Fuel Cells Technology Collaboration Programme, AFC TCP) functions within a framework created by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The activities of the AFC TCP are coordinated by the IEA’s Working Party on Energy End-use Technologies (EUWP). Views, findings and publications of the AFC TCP do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of its individual member countries.