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Current R&D Projects

A range of R&D projects are currently underway at Teer Coatings Ltd., information about some of these is given below.

Novel Materials and System Design For Low Cost, Efficient and Durable PEM Electrolysers (NOVEL):

Contact: Dr Xiaoling Zhang Teer
Funded by: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), EU [1].

The main objective of NOVEL is to develop and demonstrate an efficient and durable PEM electrolyser to produce hydrogen from water, with innovative materials, stack and system design. Electrolysers are in ever increasing demand, for example to convert the variable output of renewable energy sources, including photovolataics and wind power, into a readily transportable and storable fuel, such as hydrogen, which can, for example, be injected into the existing natural gas grid.

By developing new membrane, catalyst materials and new coatings for bipolar plates and current collectors in the novel stack and system design, the project has set performance targets at : Efficiency >75% (LHV); stack cost < €5,000 / Nm3h-1 and Life time >40,000 h.

Project Partners:

Stable and Low Cost Manufactured Biploar Plates for PEM Fuel Cells (STAMPEM):

Contact: Dr Hailin Sun

The European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan has identified fuel cells and hydrogen among the technologies needed for Europe to meet the energy efficiency targets for 2020 as well as to realise the long-term vision for 2050 towards decarbonisation. Correspondingly, the FCH JU program, and more specifically the Application Area “Transportation & Refuelling Infrastructure”, aims to pave the road towards the market introduction of fuel cell vehicles.

The concept of STAMPEM [2] is to combine world leading industrial actors with research institutions with the required generic competence capable of providing breakthrough solutions with respect to a new generation coating for low cost metallic bipolar plates (BPPs). By involving an end user of the BPPs developed in the STAMPEM project, the results will be thoroughly verified under realistic operating conditions in a PEMFC stack.

The main objective of STAMPEM is to develop durable coatings materials for metal BPPs, that can be mass produced for less than 2.5 € /kW of rated stack power at futureproduction volumes of 500 000 pieces annually. Properties after extrapolated 10 000 hours from accelerated single cell testing shall still be within the AIP specifications. The main parameters are contact resistance (< 25 mohm cm2) and corrosion resistance (< 10 μA/cm2).

Project Partners:


Contact: Dr Dmitrij Ievlev
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

SuperREACT, led by Teer Coatings Ltd., builds on previous Technology Programme breakthrough research which has established the feasibility of elemental and alloy size-selected nanocluster technology. The objectives are truly ambitious: transforming a state-of-the-art research apparatus into a true manufacturing tool, moving from micro-g/day to g/day capability, with the ultimate potential to achieve kg quantities of nanoclusters, opening up manufacturing opportunities in catalytic, fine chemical, electronic/ photonic, bio-medicine, anti-microbials, etc. Clusterbeam condensation of nano-clusters is inherently “clean” &, using multiple elemental sources, flexible in terms of cluster composition & structure. The novel matrix assembly-clusterisation processing will enable continuous production of elemental, alloy & core-shell structures. The University of Birmingham is contributing its new IPR while TCL & Johnson Matthey bring their expertise in high value manufacturing and market knowledge.

Project partners:

Disconnecting Microbes From Food and Beverage Process Surfaces (Disconnecting):

Contact: Dr Parnia Navabpour and Dr Joanne Hampshire
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation

Cleaning is a major cost to the food and beverage industry in terms of production stopages, labour and consumption of energy, water and chemicals. At the same time environmental demands require reduction in water consumption and the use of more environmentally friendly chemicals. To be able to fulfil both economic and environmental requirements, the industry needs novel means for managing microbes on process surfaces. Photocatalytic and low surface energy coatings have been shown to have potential for reducing the attachment of microbial cells to surfaces with reductions of 10-90 % observed, but the results are not always consistent. In addition, most studies have only been carried out using single bacterial species, which does not reflect the real situation. Another means to improve process hygiene could be interfering with microbial signalling. Microbes have been shown to use quorum sensing signalling in forming biofilms, and compounds disturbing quorum sensing have been identified.

The aim of this project is:

Project partners:

Nanocrystalline Water Splitting Photodiodes II, Device Engineering, Integration and Scale-up (WaSp):

Contact: Dr Xiaoling Zhang Teer
Funded by: Technology Strategy Board

This applied research project WaSp [3] represents the second stage in a programme to produce hydrogen by using solar radiation to photocatalytically split water. The concept was proven by the academic partners, using small laboratory prototype water splitting diodes in the 1st stage of the programme [4]. The current project is focused on the fabrication and commercialisation of an efficient, durable metal-based roof product, to demonstrate feasibility of direct photo-catalytic water splitting to produce hydrogen in both domestic and industrial roofs.

Solar energy has the capability to satisfy global energy demands. Although the conversion of solar to electrical energy using photovoltaic devices is well-established, electrical energy is not easy to store in large amounts and solar energy is diurnal and intermittent. There is therefore a real need for an efficient (ultimately > 10%), inexpensive (< £5 per m2) solar energy conversion device that generates a readily utilised chemical fuel, which can be readily stored or transported and is non-polluting when used as a fuel.

In this project multiple parallel process innovations (sol-gel; plasma spray/cold spray/solution spray; reactive sputtering) are being investigated to significantly improve technical and commercial performance (including efficiency, scalability, manufacturability and product life cycle considerations). The most promising technological approaches will be incorporated into a functioning demonstrator in a representative environment. The efficiency target of the project is to capture the equivalent of 5% of the solar insolation energy.

Project partners:

Coated Metal Hydrides for Energy Storage Applications:

Contact: Dr Dmitrij Ievlev
Funded by: The Technology Strategy Board

Hydrogen is accepted as an integral part of the move towards clean, sustainable energy systems. One of the main issues yet to be resolved in a commercially viable way is that of gas storage. The safest option is the use of solid hydrides that can absorb and release hydrogen on demand. However, storage systems must combine optimum gas kinetics with the practicalities of system manufacturing. Thus, while the move towards high surface to volume nano-particulates appears attractive, handling and containing these materials presents enormous difficulties. An alternative approach is based on the concept that, for Mg (high T) and FeTi (low T) hydrides, coated large particles aid kinetics and require no activation. Larger particles allow good fluidisation of the beds aiding permeation and the coatings meant that they could be handled safely in air. The project aims to build on this technology by integrating other hydrides, catalysts and conducting fillers into the powders to address specific requirements (e.g. kinetics) by providing diffusion pathways and improved thermal conductivity. This will result in innovative advanced materials that can be tested on real systems. There is a wide range of potential applications for the developed technology; initial applications are in static energy storage systems. It is intended to demonstrate the technology by utilising it in: (1) the exothermic-endothermic hydrogenation-dehydrogenation cycle as a heat store for concentrated solar power and (2) domestic heat stores, (3) static hydrogen storage for capturing excess electricity generation.

Project partners:

[1] Novel materials and system designs for low cost, efficient and durable PEM electrolysers
[2] STAble and low cost Manufactured bipolar plates for PEM Fuel Cells
[3] Nanocrystalline Water Splitting Photodiodes II: Device Engineering, Integration and Scale-up
[4] Nanocrystalline Photodiodes: Novel Devices for Water Splitting

The Technology Strategy Board

p<>.The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For further information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

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