• Start of the project : 01-010-14
  • End of project : 31-12-18


Long-life materials for hydrogen-air PEM fuel cells


The aim of the HYLIFE project is to develop materials and processes from INNOPEM with the perspective to increase their lifespan and reduce the cost of PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cells by developing catalysts supported on nanostructured carbons with low platinum loading, polymer membranes that are sulphonated and fluorinated by the atmospheric plasma process, and bipolar plates in polymer-coated stainless steel.

At the end of the project, the targeted deliverable is a single-cell PEM battery comprising:

  • Two innovative catalytic layers (anodic and cathodic) with the lowest possible platinum content, created from nanostructured carbon supported catalysts and an ionomer compatible with the chosen membrane;
  • A proton-conducting membrane created by a plasma process;
  • Two bipolar steel plates protected by a conductive polymer coating.

This single cell should have a significantly lower degradation rate than that assembled from commercial materials, following an ageing programme representative of the functioning of a PEM cell.

The assembly does indeed constitute a single deliverable because the different materials must work together and be optimized to work together.

Objectives and missions of Materia Nova

Within the consortium, Materia Nova has developed alternatives to polymer-coated stainless steel bipolar plates. These have made it possible to achieve the requirements set out in the specifications, namely high conductivity and good protection against corrosion in an acid environment. This alternative consists of stainless steel coated with a fine gold deposit obtained by electroplating.




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