Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics
Area of research:
Other,Diploma & Master Thesis
The DLR’s Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics is working on efficient technologies for energy conversion and storage that help to save resources as well as accelerate the integration of renewable energies. Within this context, the Department of Electrochemical Energy Technology in Stuttgart Germany, invites applicants from all over the world to work with us.
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is the key technology for the upcoming electric drive system, especially in automotive application. In general, these devices need to use nano-sized Pt electrocatalysts to speed up the reactions on their anode and cathode. But the high loading of Pt used in a single stack is still the main bottleneck to be addressed. The long term scenario is to replace these expensive and scarce Pt materials by Platinum Group Metal (PGM)-free catalyst. In this project, a number of advanced PGM-free catalysts are developed, your task is to characterize and test their electrochemical performances in simulated and real conditions of a PEM fuel cell. The different techniques will be involved, lab scale three-electrode-system will be used for quick screening and then the promised materials will be selected for single cell test by the means of membrane electrode assembly (MEA). In addition, different physical characterization methods, such as SEM/EDX and XPS, are planned for post-mortem analysis of the aged samples. You will work with a team of scientists and acquire hand-on skills from basic electrochemistry to fuel cell electrode engineering, as well as the versatile testing of PEM fuel cells.