Institutul Național de Cercetare-Dezvoltare pentru Tehnologii Criogenice și Izotopice Ramnicu Valcea



Financing contract no.: 695PED/2021

Project No.: PN-III-P2-2.1-PED-2021-0840

Project implementation period: 27.06.2022- 26.06.2024



The project aims to accelerate research and development efforts in hydrogen economy, a direction included in the European Strategic Plan for Energy Technologies and uses the expertise of the coordinator of the “Materials Group for Hydrogen Energy”, within ICSI-ENERGY. The project has application in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and aims to develop, demonstrate and validate the manufacture of single-layer integrated electrodes and their use in PEMFC, electrodes made by incorporating 2D graphene materials decorated with catalytic nanoparticles, revolutionary materials obtained by advanced physico-chemical methods (microwave and / or laser). The project aims to significantly reduce the manufacturing costs of PEMFC, to increase durability, to achieve significant power performance. Electrode fabrication will be performed by parallel methods: reduction of graphene oxide in the microwave field and laser controlled pyrolysis of solid polymeric substrates; both methods allow in-situ decoration and / or doping of graphene materials with catalytic nanoparticles in a single step. The electrodes obtained in a single layer will function both as diffusion layers, but also as catalytic layers, favoring the elimination of ohmic losses inter-layer and offer high mechanical stability. The new electrodes will be validated according to standardized test protocols.

Project Team

Coordinator (CO) – National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies – ICSI Rm. Valcea; ICSI ENERGY

Director de proiect:  PhD. Chem. Adriana MARINOIU,

Scope and objectives of the project

The scope of project GraphIn-FC is to develop, demonstrate, and validate integrated graphene-based electrodes for PEM FCs, that incorporate both gas-diffusion and catalytic layers in a single-layer assembly, and are realized by advanced physico-chemical methods: microwave and laser processing. On a second level, the project aims to introduce and demonstrate such scaled-up methods for streamlining the manufacturing of FC components. These can potentially replace the time-consuming and costly methods that currently dominate the industrial manufacturing of nanocarbonic materials for FC components, offering a competitive advantage to the national initiative in hydrogen economy. The graphenic materials yielded by both microwave and laser methods will be tested and optimized for use as FC components.

The aim of the project is to demonstrate and validate fully integrated graphene-based electrodes for PEM FC, which incorporate both gas diffusion layers and catalytic layers in a single monolithic assembly and are mainly made by laser processing methods. The project aims to introduce and demonstrate laser methods to streamline the manufacturing of FC components. They can potentially replace the time-consuming and expensive pyrolytic and chemical methods that currently dominate the industrial fabrication of nanocarbon materials for FC components, providing a competitive advantage in the hydrogen economy.

The GraphIn-FC project aims at the exclusive use of graphene-based materials in both MPL and CL to:

i) minimize all interfacial ohmic losses resulting in different layers;

ii) to take advantage of the thermal, electrical and material properties (e.g. increased surface area and porosity) of graphene as an electrode material and

iii) to increase the catalytic activity, durability and stability of the catalytic nanoparticles as they are directly incorporated into the graphene structural material instead of a classic carbon black pyrolytic support.

Estimated results

– Electrodes with different content of noble  and non-noble metal catalyst;

– Electrodes optimized for cathode electrode

– Integrated PEM FC prototypes composed of developed electrodes (cathode and anode)

– Prototypes of PEM FC integrated systems, differentiated according to the used catalysts

– Demonstration and validation of PEM-FC systems for a wide range of operating conditions

The dissemination of GraphIn-FC will include the following activities: 4 articles published in scientific journals with a high impact factor, 4 participations in scientific events, 2 invention patents, dedicated website on the platform of websites dedicated to research and professional social networks.


Total budget: 600 000 RON

  • Stage 1: Evaluation of methods for preparing catalytic systems such as graphene materials decorated with metallic and non-metallic nanocatalysts

Budget: 146.765 RON

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