The next Generation AutomotIve membrane electrode Assemblies (GAIA) consortium has succeeded in reaching its 1.8 W/cm2 at 0.6 V fuel cell power density target. This represents a 20% increase versus state-of-the-art technology.

This advancement was achieved with high performance membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) that integrate new materials and designs developed in the project in a full-size cell (300 cm2) four-cell stack, providing a platinum-specific power density of 0.25 g Pt/kW. The project also benefitted from coordinated progress and synchronized innovation in catalysts, catalyst supports, ionomers, membranes, gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers and MEA design.

Performance validation underpins the further development of these materials, components and MEAs into future commercial offerings and their end-use by GAIA's industrial partners. GAIA researchers will now target 6,000 operation hours, including at 105° C, of a 10-cell short-stack. A techno-economic evaluation will then assess how the GAIA MEA cost is positioned with respect to the 6 €/kW MEA cost target.

The GAIA project was launched in January 2019 to develop advanced critical proton exchange membrane fuel cell components for large-scale automotive fuel cell commercialization. Johnson Matthey, French National Scientific Research Council, BMW Group, 3M Deutschland and other academic and industrial entities are participating in the European initiative.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com