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Current CFCR Research

Current research is focused on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) with applications including automotive, portable power and stationary power, respectively. 

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)
Automotive Fuel Cells

  • Novel Membranes
  • Novel Gas Diffusion Layers
  • Novel bipolar plate designs
  • Durability studies of membranes under hygrothermal cycling
  • Development of mechanistic models for membrane durability
  • Modeling of membranes for freeze tolerance
  • Simultaneous optical and neutron visualization of operating PEM fuel cells
  • XPS investigation of catalyst degradation during fuel cell operation
  • Complete fuel cell system modeling and simulation

Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC)
Fuel Cells for Portable Power

  • Novel catalysts
  • Novel membranes
  • Novel porous metal flow fields
  • Novel control strategies for peak performance
  • Methanol transport and reaction kinetics in DMFCs

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)
Fuel Cells for Stationary Power

  • Novel SOFC electrolytes for increased oxide conductivity
  • Sputtered nanocomposite and nanoporous electrodes
  • Combinatorial optimization of SOFC cathodes

Fuel Cell Vehicle Modeling, Design, and Demonstration

  • The UD Fuel Cell Bus Program
  • A Matlab/Simulink model for fuel cell hybrid vehicle design
  • A cell voltage monitoring system for real time fuel cell stack diagnostic tool
  • Supersonic variable flow ejector for energy efficient hydrogen circulation
  • Real time data acquisition and analysis

Hydrogen Production and Storage

  • Solar-powered two-step thermochemical cycles for H2
  • Photo-electro-chemical methods for H2
  • Photo-biological methods for H2
  • Hydrogen storage systems using solid-state H2 storage materials

Past and Current Projects

  • Novel PEM membranes for improved freeze-tolerance
  • SPEEK membranes for reduced methanol crossover
  • Effect of cyclical hygrothermal loading on polymer fuel cell membranes
  • Mechanics of freeze-thaw in polymer fuel cell membranes
  • Novel Tungsten Carbide catalysts to replace Platinum in DMFC applications
  • Novel corrosion resistant catalyst supports based on TiO2 and carbon nanotubes
  • Nano-engineered electrodes for PEM fuel cells
  • Novel metallic GDLs for improved durability and performance
  • Materials development for thin film solid oxide fuel cells
  • Water management: simultaneous optical and neutron imaging of operations PEM fuel cells
  • Degradation studies of the catalyst layer using XPS
  • Optimal methanol feed concentration in DMFCs using cell voltage as feedback
  • Genetic algorithms coupled with computational models of PEM fuel cells for rapid design optimization
  • Synthesis and evaluation of electrocatalysts for fuel cells and hydrogen production
  • In-house fuel cell fabrication and extensive testing facilities
  • SEM, TEM, XRD, XPS, NMR, EIS, and other mechanical and thermal characterization facilities
  • Matlab/Simulink fuel cell bus simulator for cost effective hybrid design studies
  • Cell voltage monitoring system for real time fuel cell stack diagnostics
  • Renewable methods for hydrogen production based on thermochemical, photoelectrochemical and biological water splitting
  • Novel solid-state materials for hydrogen storage with high gravimetric efficiency