Job advertisements for students and postgraduates

Fabrication of multifunctional porous transport layers for proton exchange membrane – water electrolysis using additive manufacturing

Level of work

Master thesis

An efficient energy storage solution is needed in order to increase flexibility of renewable en-ergy sources and to improve integration of these sources into existing energy grids. Hydrogen is currently being investigated as one of the most promising options to achieve this feat. Hydrogen can be generated with high purity using water electrolysis. A major development effort however is still needed when it comes to power densities, as the stack components like bipolar plates or porous transport layers contribute significantly to the still high costs of this technology. Focus of this work is the fabrication and functionalization of novel porous transport layers (PTL) via additive manufacturing.

Description of project

First, the work covers the optimization of the fabrication process for the PTLs, using fused deposition modeling. The printing parameters need to be chosen that the desired geometry, pore structure and functionality can be achieved using the newly developed materials. Fabricated samples need to be investigated in terms of their electric conductivity. This includes for example the development of methods/procedures to measure contact resistance between individual printed strings. Additionally, a simulation model (e.g. using COMSOL) needs to be implemented, including measured values of conductivity, in order to simulate the influence of pore geometry on overall conductivity. Lastly, the fabricated samples should be evaluated in terms of their corrosion stability, as well as electrochemical activity.

Tasks

  • Design of microstructure of porous transport layers (PTL)
  • Additive manufacturing of PTL using fused deposition modeling
  • Charakterization of PTL in terms of conductivity, corrosion and electrochemistry

Requirements

  • Student of chemical engineering, electrical engineering, material science or comparable
  • Basic knowledge in polymer engineering, CAD and simulation software
  • Basic electrochemical knowledge preferred
  • Good language skills in German or English
  • High level of motivation and independence
  • Creativity as well as team working and communication skills

Begin

By agreement