My main objective is to develop new proton exchange membrane (PEM) materials based on silica and protic ionic liquids (PILs). I will follow two routes: sol-gel derived silica gels using long-chained PILs; and silica gels formed by adding suitable PILs to nano-porous silica micro-particles. This project is unique in trying to combine in one single molecular structure (of the ionic liquid) selective proton transport and nano-structuration. This is why we refer to these PILs as superfunctional! To succeed with this goal, my strategy is to combine different disciplines and include both applied and fundamental research aspects, which are complementarily crucial to transform an abstract idea to a real device. The team will thus comprise one PhD student devoted to inorganic synthesis (chemist), one PhD devoted to the mechanism of proton transport (physicist), one Postdoc devoted to in situ Fuel Cell tests (applied aspect), and a Postdoc devoted to advanced solid-state NMR (fundamental aspect). We will also collaborate with other senior scientists in Sweden and abroad, and with the company AkzoNobel PPC. Several different experimental methods will be used, with focus on vibrational and NMR spectroscopy. We expect to develop PEMs that can be safely used in Fuel Cells operating at temperatures above 120 °C. Such an improvement from the state of the art performance will facilitate the commercialization of the PEMFC and contribute to the creation of a sustainable energy system.
Docent vid Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Applied Surface Chemistry
Funding Chalmers participation during 2017–2021
Areas of Advance