WP1: Project Management


D.1.1– Project shared workspace implemented and operational (PSW) - Confidential
To fulfil two fundamental internal project communication requirements: i)efficient exchange between partners of information about CREATE project ii) decentralised and secured archiving of the documents generated, one independent and secured web-based communication tool: Project Shared Workplace – PSW has been implemented with a restricted access for project partners only.
The PSW maintenance will continue throughout the project lifetime.

 

WP2: Technical specifications, cost analysis and life cycle analysis


D.2.1– Definition of test protocols - Confidential
The deliverable 2.1 is related to the task 2.1 Definition of test protocols. The objective is to set up the conditions for the in situ testing of cells produced during the project. The harmonization of the test conditions is a crucial parameter to get homogeneous measurements between partners of the consortium testing cells and to compare them to durability and performance targets that are defined in relation with performance and durability protocols for diverse end user applications. The deliverable specifies the test conditions for the different electrochemical cells (especially, differentiating fuel cell from electrolyzer cells). Operating cell parameters such as temperature, pressure and flow of gases, water content are specified, as well as the protocol of electrochemical control for the break-in of cells, then the recording of polarization curves, and the measurement of the cell stability.

D.2.2 – Industrial requirements of polymer-based cells for hydrogen and electricity production - Confidential
This deliverable report covers the work carried out for Task 2.2 Definition of Industrial Requirements. It elaborates on the key requirements of performance, cost and durability. Guidelines are provided for the partners developing new materials to assist in transferring technology from the lab to the industrial environment.

D.2.3 – Life cycle assesment - goal and scope report - Confidential
CREATE aims at developing innovative membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for low-temperature fuel cells and electrolysers with reduced cost.
This will be achieved via elimination or drastic reduction of critical raw materials in their catalysts, enabling cost-efficient solutions. In order to show the implications in terms of environmental performance of these new MEAs, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is conducted to compare the new MEAs with state-of-the-art PEM-based cells in expected real world applications.
This report is an intermediate report in which the goal and scope of the final assessment is described. To this end, the product groups are described in technical terms, and the goal of the LCA and its scope are defined. While the goal and scope definition does usually not include Life Cycle Inventory
(LCI) data, this report provides such information for the assumed reference stack for fuel cell and electrolyser applications for the purpose of achieving an early agreement with and understanding by the consortium members.
The LCI data and the technical specifications, needed from the CREATE partners in view of the final report, are also specified for the reference cells and the newly developed cells, respectively.

D.2.4 – Cost analysis of CREATE cells - Confidential
This deliverable report covers the work carried out in Task 2.3 "Cost analysis of CREATE cells". It compares the costs of state-of-the-art PEM fuel cells used in automotive applications with the cells developed during the project (AEM fuel cells) on the one hand and the costs of the state-of-the-art PEM electrolyzer cells with those of the cells developed during the project (AEM electrolyzers).
This deliverable shows that the AEMFCs are not yet competitive compared to the new generation of PEMFCs that is entering the market, due either to a too low performance with low-PGM membrane-electrode-assemblies, or comparable performance as PEMFC but with higher PGM content. Developments are therefore still needed, both on the anode and cathode side, but in particular on the development of PGM-free or ultralow-PGM anode. On the other hand, MEAs with ultralow PGM content (< 40 µg PGM cm-2) showed sufficient performance in AEMEL. This, combined with the possible use of stainless steel in the bipolar plates of AEMEL instead of the more expensive titanium in PEMEL bipolar plates, leads to an already cost competitive AEMEL technology compared to the existing PEMEL technology.

D.2.5 – Life Cycle Analysis of CREATE cells - Confidential
CREATE aims at developing innovative membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for low-temperature fuel cells and electrolysers with reduced cost. This will be achieved via elimination or drastic reduction of critical raw materials in their catalysts, enabling cost-efficient solutions.
In order to show the implications in terms of environmental performance of these new MEAs, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is conducted to compare the new MEAs with state-of-the-art PEM-based cells in expected real world applications.
This report is the final report in which the results of the life cycle assessment of the cells developed in CREATE is presented. To this end, the product groups are described in technical terms, and the goal of the LCA and its scope are defined. The Life Cycle Inventory data and the technical specifications of the reference stack and the analysed stack for fuel cell and electrolyser application, the life cycle impact assessment results and their interpretation are reported.

 

WP3: Catalyst synthesis and characterisation


D.3.1 – CRM-FREE OER and HER catalyst to WP5 FOR AEMEL testing -  PDF
The report presents activity and stability data for selected electrocatalysts investigated during M1-M10 in CREATE for HER and OER in alkaline medium. For OER, unsupported binary and ternary ZnFe and NiZnFe metal oxides show the highest OER activity (optimized metal ratios). Increased activity is observed after electrochemical cycling for Ni33Zn33Fe33Ox,
reaching ca 50 % of the internal CREATE target of activity and passing the stability criterion. Interfacing this OER active phase with a high surface area conductive Ni support will be explored to further increase the activity. For HER, low Pt content on SWNT and CRM-free N-doped CNT were selected as best representative of CRM-lean and CRM-free alternatives. While the low Pt/SWNT approach reaches both the internal activity and stability targets, the N-CNT approach results in stable but too little active materials. CRMfree but metal-based HER catalysts will be investigated in the near future to close the activity gap for CRM-free HER catalysts.

 D.3.2 – Set of CRM-free ORR catalyst and CRM-free or ultralow-PGM HOR catalyst with activity verified by RDE sent to WP5 for AEMFC testing -  PDF
The report presents activity and stability data for selected electrocatalysts developped during M1-M12 in CREATE for hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline medium. For ORR, a Fe-N-C catalyst pyrolyzed in Ar and then NH3 shows high activity. A restricted activity loss is observed after accelerated-stress-test of electrochemical load cycling in rotating disk electrode. The ORR catalyst reaches the internal CREATE target of activity for Critical Raw Material (CRM)-free catalysts and also passes the internal stability criterion. Composites Fe-N-C/Mnoxides were also explored for improving peroxide scavenging properties. For HOR, two CRM-free catalysts were developed and one ultralow content Ptcatalyst. As CRM-free, Nickel nanoparticles on a nitrogen-doped carbon support (Ni/N-CNT) and Nickel-Iron nanoparticles on a carbon support (NiFe/C) were developped. Their HOR activity was verified and, while comparable to that reported for other CRM-free catalysts, is yet lower than the internal activity target of CREATE. The 8%Pt/SWNT HOR catalyst very closely approaches the internal CREATE activity target and passes the stability criterion. Approaches to reduce the content of Pt (PGM) and to increase the activity of CRM-free catalysts will be further explored with high throughput methods while the synthesis parameters of CRM-free ORR catalysts will be further refined to reach beyond the state-of-art activities.

 D.3.3 – CRM-free metal oxides as OER catalysts: synthesis, characterization and performance in AEMEL & BMEL -  PDF
The report presents the synthesis, activity and stability data for Ni-Zn-Fe oxides obtained as nanoparticles or as nanostructured films on Ni electrode supports in alkaline electrolyte, measured with rotating ring disk electrode and Ni foam electrodes in liquid alkaline electrolyte first. Results obtained in AEMEL are then reported, including durability over 140 h at constant current density.
The results show high activity at 2.25 V, high power performance in AEMEL and promising durability during AEMEL operation with Ni-Fe anodes and Pt(Ru)/C cathodes in alkaline electrolyte. The activity at 1.65 V in AEMEL is higher than that obtained with 1.5 mg(IrO2 ) cm–2 state-of-art anodes, while slightly lower performance is seen at high current densities, assigned to poor gas diffusion in Ni foam. The Ni-Zn-Fe oxide catalyst showed slightly lower performance than Ni-Fe anode, assigned to poorer electrical conductivity due to the ionomer interface, and showed lower performance than in rotating ring disk electrode setup.

D.3.4 – CRM-free Metal-N-C materials as ORR catalysts: synthesis, characterisation and performance in AEMFC & BMFC -  PDF
The report presents the synthesis, activity and stability data for Fe-N-C and Fe-N-C/Mn-oxide composite electrocatalysts in alkaline electrolyte, measured with rotating ring disk electrode and scanning flow cell in liquid alkaline electrolyte first. Results obtained in AEMFC are then reported, including durability over 100 h at constant current density.
The results show high activity at 0.9 V, high power performance in air/H2 AEMFC and promising durability during AEMFC operation with Fe-N-C cathodes and PtRu/C anodes. The activity at 0.9 V in AEMFC is higher than that obtained with 0.4 mgPt cm-2 state-of-art cathodes, while slightly lower performance is seen at high current densities, assigned to lower accessibility of FeNx sites due to the microporous nature of the carbon matrix in Fe-N-C and also due to the lower site density in Fe-N-C vs. Pt/C.
The composite Mn2O3/Fe-N-C showed similar high initial performance than Fe-N-C, and showed lower production of peroxide in rotating ring disk electrode setup.

D.3.5 – CRM-free metal/metal (oxy)hydroxides as HOR / HER catalysts: synthesis, characterization and performance in AEMFC & AEMEL -  PDF
This report presents the consortium's work on PGM free catalysts for the alkaline hydrogen evolution (HER) and oxidation (HOR) reactions. As the most promising CRM-free material, Ni was in focus for both reactions. First, HOR was studied in a liquid electrolyte. Here, various alloying approaches have been considered with the intention that small amounts of Fe, Co, and Cu can potentially influence the adsorption energy of the reaction intermediates and, hence, the HOR activity. Preliminary investigation was also carried out on Ni/C & NixN/C electrocatalysts for the HOR. Besides the activity, stability was investigated. Some alloying metals, such as Mo and Cu were ruled out due to dissolution during accelerated stress testing in ICP MS. Another shortcoming of the Ni materials has been shown to be their low nobility, resulting in the irreversible oxidation and passivation of Ni surface at high HOR potentials. Similar results were obtained for NiMo HER catalysts that suffer severe Mo leaching during open circuit potential (OCP). On the other hand, stable Ni and NiFe Catalysts supported on CNTs showed up to 300 mV higher overpotentials than the internal target.
For PGM-free AEMFC presented herein, the low nobility of Ni resulted in power densities of only 56 mW cm−2 (compared to ca 1.5 W cm-2 for a PGM-free cathode paired with a high PGM content anode). For PGM-free AEMEL, the obtained activity of FeNi/CNT catalysts would result in higher electrolyzer cell voltages of ca 250-300 mV compared to an AEML with a Pt/C cathode. Therefore, the fields of PGM-free HOR and HER electrocatalysis requires significant attention to achieve PGM-free cells with high performance.

D.3.6 – CRM-free metal@carbon materials as HER catalysts: synthesis, characterization and performance in BMEL -  PDF
In this report, we present the consortium's work on PGM-free and/or CRM-free catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in acid media. Catalysts based on iron, nickel, iron-nickel, tungsten and cobalt were synthesized and evaluated. Their activity and stability was screened with rotating disk electrode (RDE) measurements, and this was followed by testing the down-selected cathode materials with most promising activity and stability either in PEM electrolyzer (tungsten based catalyst) or bipolar membrane electrolyzer (cobalt based catalyst). Test protocols for the electrochemical activity and durability measurements in RDE as well as pass/fail criteria for catalyst transfer to WP5 (cell assembly and cell testing) were defined in WP2 (Technical Specifications, Cost Analysis & Life Cycle Analysis, and reported in Deliverable 2.1). Stability of the most promising catalyst was scrutinized in a prolonged electrochemical test in a PEMEL. Compared to state of art Pt/C cathodes with high PGM loading, their substitution with W- or Co-based cathodes resulted in an increase of ca 200-250 mV in electrolyzer cell voltage (observed both for PEM electrolyzer and bipolar membrane electrolyzer) at high current density. While this shows the practical possibility to replace PGM by non-PGM catalysts at the acidic cathodes of such electrolyzers, it also reveals that further efforts are needed to reduce the gap in HER activity with Pt.

 

WP4: Ionomer synthesis and membrane preparation


D.4.1 – First generation of AEM & AEI materials for AEMFC and AEMEL -  PDF
The report presents the preparation, conductivity and stability data for selected anion exchange ionomers (AEI) and anion exchange membranes (AEM) that will be used as a first generation of AEI and AEM for short-term testing of AEM fuel cell (AEMFC) and AEM electrolysers (AEMEL) in combination with benchmark catalysts and novel catalysts developed in CREATE.

D.4.2 – Second generation of AEM and AEI materials for improved AEMFC and AEMEL devices -  PDF
The report presents the preparation, conductivity and stability data for selected anion exchange ionomers (AEI) and anion exchange membranes (AEM) that will be used as a second generation of AEI and AEM for testing of AEM fuel cell (AEMFC) and AEM electrolysers (AEMEL) in combination with benchmark catalysts and novel catalysts developed in CREATE.

D.4.3 – Supply of BMs with proven ex situ properties for testing in BMFC and BMEL -  PDF
The report presents the preparation and characterisation of bipolar membranes (BM) with improved ex situ properties with respect to stability and resistance. The BM will be supplied for testing in bipolar membrane fuel cells (BMFC) and bipolar membrane electrolysers (BMEL).

D4.4 – Optimized AEM & AEI: Ex Situ characterisation and testing in AEMFC and AEMEL -  PDF
This report presents a novel technique which was used to measure the conductivity, stability and performance properties obtained with the optimized anion exchange membrane (AEM) and anion exchange ionomer (AEI) developed during CREATE. The conductivity and stability of lowdensity polyethylene benzyltrimethylammonium LDPE-BTMA and FAA-3-5 AEMs were measured ex situ via a Scribner MTS 740. The AEI developed during CREATE was used in catalyst layers and combined with these membranes to further evaluate their in situ performance in anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) via a Scribner 850e fuel cell test station. With these initial results we show positive performance utilizing these novel materials and recommend that further testing be conducted to evaluate their long-term stability in AEMFCs.

D4.5 – Optimized BMs: synthesis, ex situ characterisation and testing in BMFC and BMEL -  PDF
The report presents the preparation and characterisation of bipolar membranes (BM) with improved ex situ properties with respect to stability and resistance, and the results obtained in bipolar membrane electrolysers (BMEL) in a flow cell with differential pH, with a high-pH anode and a low pH-cathode, with an anode free of platinum group metals (PGM) and either a platinum cathode or a cobalt-based cathode. Even after correction for the high Ohmic drop through the liquid electrolyte layers, the iR-corrected polarisation curve of the best BMEL with PGM-free anode and Pt cathode significantly exceeds that obtained with an anion exchange membrane electrolyzer (AEMEL) comprising the same anode and similar Pt cathode. The increased cell voltage with BMEL than with AEMEL is mainly assigned to the water splitting at the interlayer inside the BM. In addition, switching from Pt to a Co-based cathode in the BMEL, an additional cell voltage of ca 250 mV was observed, highlighting the need to develop more active PGM-free materials to catalyse hydrogen evolution in acidic medium.

D4.6 – Optimized AEM & AEI: Ex Situ characterisation and testing in AEMFC and AEMEL - CONFIDENTIAL
The report describes functional groups synthesized in-house and others for their stability under non-aqueous conditions and different temperatures using the novel method developed at Technion. Some of them were cast into membrane or attached to a well-known polymer and tested for stability, IEC, and true OH‾ conductivity.

 

WP5: Cell assembly and cell testing


D.5.1 – Manufacture of CRM-free or ultralow-CRM MEAs for AEMEL and testing -  Confidential
This deliverable reports the first results from the manufacture of CRM‐free and low‐CRM membrane electrode assemblies and the testing of these in AEMEL electrolyser test cells at small scale. Two manufacture methods, catalyst coated membrane (CCM) and catalyst coated electrode (CCE), and two testing configurations, with or without support electrolyte, have been trialled. Additionally, a low‐CRM catalyst for HER in acidic conditions has been tested for use in BMEL.

D.5.2 – Manufacture of CRM-free or ultralow-CRM MEAs for AEMFC and testing -  Confidential
The report presents beginning-of-life polarisation curves and power performance data recorded in Anion-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells (AEMFCs). The polarisation curves of AEMFCs were recorded for benchmark anodes and cathodes based on platinum-group-metals (PGMs), as well as with selected anode and cathode electrocatalysts and anionexchange membrane developped during M1-M24 in CREATE. For the latter, peak power performance between 0.35 and 1.0 W·cm-2 were recorded with PGM-free cathodes and PtRu-based anode, depending on anode PGM loading.

 D.5.3 – Power and durability performance of electrolyzer with large-scale MEA having no or minimized CRM content -  Confidential
This deliverable reports the final results from the manufacture of CRM-free and low-CRM membrane electrode assemblies and the testing of these in AEMEL electrolyser test cells.

D.5.4 – Power and durability performance of fuel cell with large-scale MEA having minimized -  Confidential
This deliverable reports the power performance and durability of anion exchange membrane fuel cells with cathodes free of critical raw materials and anodes with low content in platinum group metals. The effect of different CRM-free cathodes, membranes and ionomers is first reported. Then, fuel cell performance with optimized ionomer, membrane and cathode is reported, including for O2 feed and air-feed (CO2-free) cases at the cathode. The durability data with air/H2 feeds is reported for an iron-based cathode and the performance loss discussed on the basis of changes in the initial and final polarisation curves, high frequency resistance and iron speciation.

 

WP6: Dissemination and exploitation


D.6.1 – Project website -  PDF
The CREATE project website is designed to fulfil project communication and dissemination needs for the benefit of the whole scientific community and the public through relevant information including:
- project overall objectives, partner & work packages information
- project activities: news, meetings
- project progress: technical publications, conference presentations, public domain reports
- project resources: links, related events …
- project contact information
All the partners will collectively participate in the dissemination objective of the website by providing up-to-date information.

D.6.2 – Dissemination and knowledge management protocol -  Confidential
This report presents the dissemination protocol for the CREATE project, the procedure for “Open Access” to peer reviewed research articles, internal rules, information on support from the EU members and the strategy for Knowledge Management within the project.

D.6.3 - Organisation of a workshop on AEM- and BM-based devices for electrochemical energy conversion - PDF
CREATE jointly organised with the FCH JU CRESCENDO project (http://www.crescendo-fuelcell.eu) the second edition of the Electrolysis and Fuel Cell Discussions conference, EFCD2019, dedicated to catalysts with minimum amount of Critical Raw Materials, and in particular of Platinum Group Metals. This highly successful international conference was held at La Grande Motte in France, 15-18 September 2019. Attended by 160 international participants, it provided the opportunity to apprise the state of the art, showcase CREATE and CRESCENDO results and interact with other FCHJU/ H2020 funded projects, including PEGASUS, which was invited to share a special session.

D.6.4 - Publication on the implementation of CRM-free catalysts in polymer EL and FC - Confidential
This deliverable reports the key achievements in the CREATE project towards the replacement of PGM-based catalysts by CRM-free and CRM-lean catalysts in anion exchange membrane electrolyzer and anion exchange membrane fuel cells.

D.6.5 - Survey of dissemination activities and final plan for dissemination and exploitation of project results -  Confidential
During the whole duration of the CREATE project, the consortium has undertaken various dissemination and communication measures. Target groups included industry, academia, government bodies and the public. Key highlights from WP6 activities are the organisation of an international workshop, the release of more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 25 oral presentations at international conferences and workshops. After the end of the project, partners of the consortium will still be engaged in conducting further activities for promoting and disseminating the project results as well as exploiting its results. The dissemination and protection of intellectual rights of results issued from CREATE will still be subjected to the CREATE grant agreement and dissemination protocol, to ensure confidentiality and the legitimate interests of the partners, according to the Grant Agreement article II.30 and the internal dissemination protocol (D6.2).