National Research And Development Institute For Cryogenic And Isotopic Technologies

ICSI Energy conducts research and development activities in 6 main groups.

The fuel cell represents the center of a revolutionary thinking in new energy systems. In order to replace existing technologies in the energy market, fuel cell generators need to focus on the benefits of this new and revolutionary technology: increased efficiency and low emissions at similar cost and sustainability.

PEM fuel cell-based technologies and systems have proven to be viable sources of energy conversion for different applications: stationary and mobile (transport, portable).

The research activities are based on:

  • constructive and parametric optimization performed by numerical simulations to establish optimal architectures: drains for fluids flow, dimensions and properties of the component layers, electrochemical phenomena analysis, parametric analysis for maximizing performance;
  • making projects for PEM fuel cells and fuel cell stacks;
  • making components: graphite composite bipolar plates, hybrid bipolar plates (graphite/metal/composite materials), collector plates, MEA assemblies, microporous diffusion layers and catalysts;
  • integration of components into optimized configurations in terms of gravity, volumetric and debited power;
  • development of graphite adhesives and gaskets for assembling and sealing of fuel cell components and stacks;
  • electrical/electrochemical testing of PEM fuel cells and stacks;
  • integration of cell stacks in demonstrative/educational systems (25cm2-25W), portable (44cm2-250W), stationary/back-up off grid (92cm2-1kW), stationary CHP (170cm2-2kW).

Research Infrastructure

  • fully automatic Arbin fuel cell testing station for cells with a power of less than 25 kW;
  • complete development line for PEM fuel cells (a system for producing diffusion layers using electrospinning, computer-controlled system for graphite processing for the production of bipolar plates, SONOTEK ultrasonic coating system for depositing catalysts on a carbon substrate, internally developed system for assembling PEM fuel cell and a custom-made fuel cell testing stand);
  • software packages (ANSYS Multiphysics, COMSOL Multiphysics) for modeling fluid dynamics, mass and heat transfer processes for various applications in physics and engineering;
  • 5 Axes HSC Milling System IMES ICORE Premium 4030 μ
  • DMU 65 monoBLOCK 5 Axis Milling Machining Centre
  • Objet260 Connex 3D Printing System;
  • Creaform HandySCAN 3D Scanner;
  • PLS6MW Multi-Wavelength Laser Platform, Laser Cutting and Engraving Equipment.

Contact persons

Fuel cells, unanimously considered the core of the hydrogen-powered energy revolution, are key elements for building a clean, competitive, secure and sustainable energy economy. An essential part of PEM fuel cell stacks is the development of materials for improving performance, increasing sustainability and reducing costs.

The research activities are based on:

  • synthesis of metallic/non-metallic catalysts by physicochemical processes/methods;
  • morphological and structural characterization of synthesized materials;
  • electrocatalytic performance evaluation;
  • creation of new non-conventional electrodes based on unfunctionalized graphene materials but also functionalized/doped with metal or halogen nanoparticles;
  • obtaining new membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) based on carbon nanomaterials with low Pt content;
  • obtaining carbon nanofibres by catalytic synthesis using a computerized electrospinning system;
  • the inclusion of graphene nanostructures in the diffusion layer manufacturing process (GDL) to increase the active surface and porosity;
  • development of mathematical and numerical models to investigate the influence of specific properties of developed materials on the performance of PEM fuel cells;
  • electrical/electrochemical testing of materials developed in fuel cell stacks.

Research infrastructure

  • Ultrasonic Coating Machine
  • Gas Sorption Analyzer
  • KATO TECH Electrospinning Equipment

Contact persons

Energy storage using hydrogen requires the implementation of support technologies to ensure energy transition and energy integration from renewable sources. A “clean” energy structure cannot be conceived at the present without involving hydrogen and, implicitly, a “green” technology for its production, such as electrolysis. There is a growing interest to increase the acceptability of hydrogen so that it is considered a fuel for both gas distribution networks and hybrid cars.

The research activities are based on:

  • synthesis of catalytic materials based on metallic alloys of the type LaNi5 alloyed with different co-catalysts (Ni, Ti, Ce, Co, Al, Sn etc.) and Raney Ni catalysts, using mechanical methods synthesis and spraying of DC/RF in plasma;
  • synthesis of multimetal ternary oxides (Ir, Ru, Co, Ni, Ta, Sn) with high activity against oxygen evolution reaction (OER) using mechanical synthesis methods, combustion and electrochemical deposition;
  • development of catalysts, membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for PEM and alkaline electrolyzers;
  • structural, morphological and compositional characterization of the catalysts and membranes developed;
  • electrochemical characterization of catalysts, active catalytic surface determination of MEA assemblies by specific electrochemical methods;
  • mathematical modeling to optimize fluid flow through the porous media of PEM electrolyzers;
  • design and manufacture of bipolar plates and current collectors;
  • development of PEM and alkaline electrolyzers;
  • development of balancing systems for generation-consumption in electrical networks;
  • development of exploratory research into hydrogen storage technology;
  • development of autonomous hydrogen-based systems and renewable energies to provide utilities for isolated communities;

Research Infrastructures

  • Multichannel Potentiostat/Galvanostat
  • Ultrapure water production equipment for the electrolyzer
  • HOGEN HP 40 PEM Electrolyzer
  • Carver 4386CE.4010000 Manual Hydraulic Press
  • Perkin Elmer Frontier FT-NIR Spectrophotometer
  • Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) “EasyTube®3000Ext Graphene&Carbon Nanotube Grown System”
  • Combined AFM – Raman

Contact persons

The development of solutions for hybrid mobility proposes the development of experimental-demonstrative research leading to functional models and confirm the technical and commercial preparation of hydrogen and hybrid vehicles as well as the development of research leading to the construction of hydrogen and/ or electrical power fueling station.

The research activities are based on:

  • development of hydrogen-based hybrid automotive systems and hybrid propulsion engines with improved power management performance and prolongation of operating autonomy;
  • optimization of a hybrid electric vehicle by developing algorithms and control methods;
  • experimental research on the production of a renewable hydrogen fueling system for mobile and stationary applications;
  • acquiring expertise in hydrogen production and use: authorizations, legislation, rules to ensure support for the implementation of European directives/legislation in Romania.

Research Infrastructure

  • Software Platform – Creaform Vxlements
  • CAD CAM Platform – Siemens NX12.0
  • OPAL-RT Electrical System Simulator
  • Hogen HP40 Polymeric Membranes Electrolyzer
  • NovaSwiss 0218-1 Membrane Compressor
  • Hystersis Programmable Dynamometer Model HD815-5NA-0200 (can measure a torque of up to 28 Nm, speed up to 12 000 rpm and max. 7000 W) is used to simulate the vehicle’s travel regimes and to test the operation of the whole VET system;


  • HP 3458 A Digital Multimeter
  • Tektronix TDS 320 Digital Oscilloscope
  • Hardware and Software Platform, NI’s Complete cRIO Technology
  • Chroma 2x24kW, 600V-1680A Programmable Direct Current (DC) Electronic Load
  • EA-PSI 240V-170A, 15KW DC Bench Power Supply
  • Chroma 48kW/600V/1380A Programmable DC Electronic Load
  • Area of Photovoltaic Panels with a Maximum Output of 10kW and Grid-connected Mode.

Contact person

Energy storage using lithium-ion batteries requires finding new optimized types of such batteries, developing new materials and electrodes architectures to achieve the necessary performance and economic thresholds that make them viable for various applications (mobile, portable and stationary).

The research activities are based on:

  • Investigating the influence of morphology, electronic and ionic conductivity of materials used in obtaining electrodes on the Li+ion diffusion properties of Li-ion;
  • Li-ion LMO, LFP Battery Technology (coin, pouch and 18650 cylindrical types);
  • development of pouch cells with improved properties/ performance in terms of energy capacity, thermal stability and cost for different applications, based on conventional Li-ion chemistry with NMC and LFP hybrid electrodes;
  • development of new sodium, sulfur and magnesium battery technologies, in conjunction with the use of new nanomaterials as high specific surface electron transfer support;
  • transition to the next generation of Mg-S batteries; design and implementation of new technology for manufacturing and testing the pouch-type Mg-S batteries;
  • optimized LTO-based electrodes (anodes) as a replacement for graphite in high power applications;
  • Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) – assessing the environmental impact associated with Li-ion batteries;
  • the study of battery behavior under different conditions; charging/discharging at different currents and temperatures; battery impedance measurements; the purpose of measurements is to characterize the battery as close as possible to the conditions under which it will operate.

Research Infrastructure:

  • Umberto NXT Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Software
  • Solartron CellTest System (1470E) Multichannel Potentiostat
  • Test Station for Battery Cells
  • MTI BST8-10A30V Battery Charging/Discharging System
  • Battery line 1: Rotary Tube Furnace with Three Heating Zones; Ball Mill; Rotary Homogenizer; Ultrasonic Processor; Manual Mixer with Vibration Stage and Vacuum Pump; Semi-Automatic Forming Machine for Pouch Cell Electrode;  Desk-Top Ultrasonic Metal Welder; Electrolyte Diffusion Chamber; Pouch Cell Case/Cup Forming Machine for Aluminum-Laminated Film;
  • Battery line 2: Vacuum Mixer; Compact Electrode Coating Machine; Forming Machine for 18650 Cylindrical Cell Electrodes; Spot Welding Machine;Crimping Machinefor 18650 Cylinder Cells; Press;Pouch Cells Sealer Machine; 18650 Cylindrical Cells Sealer Machine; Semi-Automatic Electrolyte Filling Machine; Semi-Automatic Die Cutter of Electrodes for Stacking Pouch Pouch Cell Case/Cup Semi-Automatic Forming Machine for Aluminum-Laminated Film; Semi-automatic Winding Machine.

Contact persons:

In conjunction with a helium liquefaction plant with a capacity of 40L/hour (Linde), the Low Temperature Laboratory develops cryogenic technologies and components compatible with the R & D directions in the field of condensed state physics as well as various innovative transfer and energy storage at low temperatures based on superconducting materials with high critical temperature.

The specific research-development activities are:

  • storage of electricity in superconducting coils (NbTi, MgB2, YBCO, etc);
  • conversion and storage of electricity through gas liquefaction (He, N2);
  • transmission of electricity through induction in cryogenic mode;
  • development and characterization of the fundamental physical properties of new classes of materials with high potential for storage and reversible conversion of cryogenic energy.

Research Infrastructure:

  • Rigaku Mini Flex 600 X-ray Diffractometer (XRD)
  • Novocontrol Broadband Dielectric/Impedance Spectrometer
  • Retsch PM 100
  • Retsch PM 200
  • Planetary Ball Mill Retsch PM 100 and PM 200
  • Carbolite Gero High Temperature Furnace
  • Nabertherm Chamber Furnace

Contact Persons:

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