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Novel proton-conducting MOF composites for fuel cell devices

19th national competition for scientific and technical research

Renewable energy: materials and processes

Senior Researcher : Patricia Horcajada Cortés

Research Centre or Institution : IMDEA Energía.


The aim of this project is to develop new technologies for sustainable energy production. In particular, it is focused on the preparation of novel materials to be use in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs). To achieve this general goal, the project is divided in 4 scientific objectives:

1. Design and synthesis of new hybrid porous crystalline materials known as Metal-Organic Frameworks or MOFs as fuel cells electrolyte;

2. Development of composite materials based on MOFs and different species with already proven conductivity;

3. Complete characterization of the previously synthetized materials, including structural elucidation and investigation of their proton conductive properties; and

4. Fuel cells development.

So far, 13 new MOF structures based on polyphosphonate ligands and different metals (Cu, Bi, Ni, etc.) have been synthesized with moderate to very good protonic conductivities, some of them among the best reported for this type of materials. In addition, different composite materials have also been developed, either by introducing proton carrier species in the MOFs or by cation exchange, showing similar conductivity values to the commercial electrolytes currently used. The developed materials present a great potential in fuel cells not only due to their conductivity but also to a better cyclability. In addition, the most promising materials have been incorporated into polymeric membranes with different nature for their integration into a final device, evaluating their conductivity and stability. It is important to highlight that preliminary fuel cells have been assembly using MOFs as electrolytes as well as catalytic layer, with promising results in the latter case.  


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 12
Communications at national conferences 11
Communications at international conferences 1


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