Dealing with the materials challenge of PEM water electrolysis

EIRES Lunch Lecture

Friday December 10, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Online | MS Teams

Welcome to join us !

You are warmly invited to join our next EIRES Lunch lecture scheduled as follows:

Friday 10 December 2021

12h00-13h00 CET

Dealing with the materials challenge of PEM water electrolysis

Hydrogen is an important energy vector and feedstock for the future CO2 neutral infrastructure. In this respect cost-effective and scalable hydrogen production by means of renewable electricity driven electrolysis is required. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysers represent a promising technology for sustainable hydrogen production, due to their high efficiency and load flexibility. However, their acidic environment entails the use of scarce and expensive catalyst materials (Pt-based cathodes, Ir-based anodes). Apart from the associated high capital costs, the limited availability of these metals, and especially of Ir, can hinder the large-scale implementation of PEM electrolysis. There is thus an urgent need for alternative catalytic systems. In this talk Foteini Sapountzi (from Syngaschem BV and DIFFER) will present examples of her current research dealing with this challenge.
In relation to the cathode, transition metal phosphides have been identified as promising replacements for Pt. In this talk, she will discuss how such emerging electrocatalysts could be integrated to commercial-type electrodes and she will provide a performance assessment of these materials at realistic operating conditions.
In relation to the anode, low-cost replacements of Ir are not yet available and therefore the focus is put on engineering homogeneous catalyst layers at low Ir loadings. She will present a new single-step catalyst manufacturing approach based on spark ablation, which can lead to anodes with an order of magnitude improved Ir utilization and sufficient durability for industrial application.

Foteini Sapountzi - Syngaschem BV and DIFFER

Foteini Sapountzi (Thessaloniki, Greece) obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Patras (Greece) in 2009, under the supervision of Prof. C.G. Vayenas. She continued working at the same group as postdoctoral researcher and as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Materials Science at the same university. Afterwards she worked as postdoctoral researcher with Prof. J.L. Valverde in the University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain, and with Dr. P. Vernoux in the Institute for Research on Catalysis and Environment of Lyon, France. Since 2015 she is working as Senior Research Scientist at Syngaschem BV, Netherlands, together with Prof. J.W. Niemantsverdriet. Since 2021 she also works part-time at the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research, DIFFER/Netherlands together with Prof. M.C.M. van de Sanden. Her research is focused on catalytic and electrocatalytic processes, mainly in the framework of electrochemical promotion of catalysis and of fuel cell/water electrolysers.  

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Organized by
EIRES | Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems

Online | MS Teams

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EIRES Lunch lectures are open for anyone interested in the latest developments in energy storage and conversion. Different keynote speakers from academia and industry will present their views, solutions and outlooks on the topic. The lectures leave plenty of room for discussion. We value your input. Looking forward meeting you!

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Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems