MOF-PEMs: Design Proton-Conducting Metal Organic Frameworks based membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Applications

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), converting chemical fuels into electricity, are a promising electrochemical technology for the sustainable energy production using clean energy sources, thus, addressing the global challenge of energy demand and pollution control. However, drawbacks of the current polymer electrolyte materials (i.e degradation and efficiency) limit their application. Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), a class of hybrid porous materials, have recently found potential applicability in this emerging cross-disciplinary energy area. MOF-PEMs project aims to prepare new cost-effective MOF-based membranes gathering good stability, and high proton conductivity over wide range of humidity and temperature conditions, supported by theoretical calculations toward understanding their proton-conducting pathways, which is an important step to industrially efficient PEMFCs. MOF-PEMs will, thus, overtake the current bottleneck of most commercial PEMs, by developing new electrolyte materials with high proton conductivity comparable or even surpassing Nafion® and affordable price, filling the gap between basic research and marketable applications. Key opportunities envisioned from MOF-PEMs include mitigation CO2 emissions and alternative sustainable energy-conversion and energy storage systems that are reliable, low-cost and environmentally friendly. We believe that the results of MOF-PEMs will attract large industrial interest derived by the need of society and governments for continued energy supply associated with rapid population growth.

Investigators: Dr Khaled Hassanein (Postdoctoral Fellow) & Dr Patricia Horcajada (Supervisor)

Funding Institution/Program: The MOF-PEMs project has received funding form the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union (grant agreement No.   101062414). (DOI 10.3030/101062414)

Call: HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF-01

Type of action: HORIZON TMA MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships – European Fellowships

Period: September 2023 – August 2025

IMDEA Energy Institute external funding: 181,152.96 €