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European Partnership

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Clean Hydrogen Partnership

HIGH performing uLtrA-durable membraNe electroDe assEmblies for tRucks

The objective of HIGHLANDER is to develop membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDV) with disruptive, novel components, targeting stack cost and size, durability, and fuel efficiency. The project will design, fabricate, and validate the HDV MEAs at cell and short stack level against heavy-duty relevant accelerated stress test and load profile test protocols. The unique approach of HIGHLANDER is to develop core fuel cell components in tandem, ensuring their greatest  compatibility and lowest interface resistance: ionomer and reinforcement, catalyst and catalyst support, catalyst layer composition and property gradient in tune with the bipolar plate flow-field geometry. Materials screening efforts will be supported by the development and use of improved predictive degradation models bridging scales from reaction sites to cell level. Model parameterisation is implemented using experimental characterisation data at materials, component, and cell level. HIGHLANDER brings together a European supply chain of fuel cell materials and components producers and an OEM stack developer that makes this approach possible. HIGHLANDER aims to bring about a significant reduction in stack cost and fuel consumption through improvement of catalyst coated membrane performance and development of a new, lower cost single-layer gas diffusion layer. It will aim to achieve the 1.2 W/cm² at 0.65 V performance target at 0.3 g Pt/kW or below, meeting a lifetime target of 20,000 h.  Sustainability considerations include benchmarking of fluorine-free membranes for HDV MEA application and re-use of platinum in the context of a circular economy.