Chemistry of Energy Conversion

Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

  1. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with the Dead-End Anode and Large Active Area, 2014-2017, supported by TUBITAK 1003 Program (Researchers: S. Alkan Gürsel, Y. Karataş; PI: S. Yeşilyurt)

    • Against membrane dry-out, degradation and pinhole deformation, high temperature polymer membranes will be developed.
  2. Fabrication and Characterization of High Quality Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells, 2013-2015, supported by SAN-TEZ Program (PI: S. Alkan Gürsel)

    • High quality proton exchange membranes in the form of thin films have been obtained from base polymer powder by radiation-induced grafting method.
    • Homogenous, stable, durable, highly conducting and low cost proton exchange membranes have been developed.
    • Gas diffusion electrodes with high porosity, electrical conductivity, and resilience have been produced in a single step wet-laid process.
  3. The Synthesis of Low Cost Alternative Proton-Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells and the Utilization of Conducting Polymers as the Catalyst Support, 2008-2011, supported by TUBITAK 1001 Program (PI: S. Alkan Gürsel)

    • Cost competitive, proton conducting membranes for high temperature fuel cell operations were manufactured.
    • Membranes exhibited superior conductivity and fuel cell performance at dry conditions.
  4. 4) Synthesis and Characterization of Polyphosphazene based Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications, 2011-2014, supported by TUBITAK 3501 Program (PI: Y. Karataş, Advisor: S. Alkan Gürsel)

    • A series of polyphosphazenes were synthesized to serve as proton exchange membranes by functionalizing the precursor polymer with two different - heteroatom containing and not containing – aryl side chains in varying ratios via macromolecular substitution method.
    • The synthesis and characterizations of new polyphosphazene based proton exchange membranes with high ionic conductivity and good mechanical properties were achieved.
  5. Polymer Electrolyte Membranes with High Durability and Stability for Fuel Cells, 2010-2011, supported by L’OREAL Young Women in Science Award Program (PI: S. Alkan Gürsel)

    • A novel approach for the synthesis of highly stable, durable, and low cost proton exchange membranes is proposed in this project.
    • For this purpose, vinyl monomers containing a spacer (atom or a group) between the double bond and aromatic ring were employed. The spacer in the monomer enhanced the stability of the graft component against oxidative degradation in fuel cell environment.

Graphene based Electrodes

  1. Graphene-Driven Revolutions in ICT and Beyond-EU Future Emerging Technology (FET) Graphene Flagship, 2013-…, supported by EU (FP7 and Horizon 2020) (PI: S. Alkan Gürsel)

    • The European Commission has chosen Graphene as one of Europe’s first 10-year, 1,000 million euro FET flagships.
    • Sabancı University is the only partner of Graphene Flagship Project from Turkey.
    • The reduction of catalyst amount in the electrode without sacrificing the performance and thus lowering the cost of fuel cell is the ultimate goal.
    • Uniform distribution of catalyst nanoparticles and enhanced electrocatalytic activities have been achieved.
  2. Development of Graphene based High Quality Gas Diffusion Electrodes for PEM Fuel Cells, 2015-2018, supported by TUBITAK 1003 Program (PI: L. Işıkel Şanlı, S. Alkan Gürsel, A. Bayrakçeken)

    • The proposed Pt/graphene catalyst nanoparticles will be developed as the superior material compared to commercial Pt/carbon.
    • By means of supercritical carbon dioxide deposition method, which will be used as the catalyst preparation method, uniform Pt distribution on graphene support and small particle size will be provided.
    • Wet laying process that is mostly used in nonwoven industry but not in the production of gas diffusion electrodes is taken as the base and modified for the development of graphene based gas diffusion electrodes with uniform Pt distribution in one step by an environmentally friendly process.