The PERMANENT project has kicked off. It will face the major causes that limit the durability and stability of hydrogen-powered polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology (PEMFC).

An investment of 3.4 million euros in 36 months to fully understand the degradation mechanisms in real operating conditions for mobility applications and propose solutions based on a radically innovative approach: the multi-scale structuring of components.

The project includes fundamental research activities based on the availability of proponents of Key Enabling Technologies related to the development, synthesis and characterization of advanced materials and structured materials at the nano- and micro-scale, nanotechnologies and innovative production processes.

The technological field of application of research results is sustainable transport, which determines particularly demanding dynamic operating conditions.

The expected results of increased durability and stability will be directly transferable to polymer fuel cells for stationary applications, and subsequently will also be implementable in electrolysers for the electrolytic production of green hydrogen (and in flow batteries for energy storage from renewable sources).

Professor Andrea Casalegno, project coordinator of the Department of Energy, explains:

Permanent is based on the experience and complementarity of an Italian consortium of excellence which will initially be able to understand and therefore mitigate the degradation of fuel cells for transport, developing highly innovative materials and components

The project partners, coordinated by the Politecnico di Milano, are: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca – Department of Materials Science, Università degli Studi di Padova – Department of Industrial Engineering, Solvay Specialty Polymers Italy.