India-UK Collaborative Research Initiative in Fuel Cells

Department of Science and Technology (DST), New Delhi, in collaboration with the Research Councils UK, jointly invite proposals for research projects focusing on Fuel Cells.


UK eligibility

Applicants who are academic employees of UK universities and resident in the UK are normally eligible to submit research proposals may apply. Current holders of EPSRC Fellowships (excluding Postdoctoral Fellowships) and Royal Society Fellows may also apply. Fixed-term employees of UK universities are eligible to submit proposals under certain conditions, as are employees of the Research Councils’ Institutes. Applicants must be the principal investigator or co-investigator on a current research council award (at the closing date 25 November 2010). Applicants who are unsure about the suitability of their research project are strongly advised to contact Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) before submission. In addition to the special requirements set out here, the standard EPSRC eligibility rules and grant conditions apply. Information is available in the EPSRC Funding Guide.

Indian eligibility

Normal DST eligibility requirements will apply.


10 hard copies of the complete JeS form including all attachments must be submitted to DST by the deadline.

Types of Proposals Sought
RCUK and DST expect to support projects from this call which address the ‘Challenges’ set out below. In addition to the usual academic requirements for a research project a successful application must: · be a joint activity involving research groups from both the UK and India, · involve personnel exchange between the Indian and the UK partners
The Research Councils have committed to a contribution of up to £3M for this call over a three year period with matched resources from DST.
Scientific focus for the call
Within an overarching focus on research relating to fuel cells, the following ‘Challenges’ were agreed at the workshop to be of mutual interest to both the UK and India and where both countries shared complementary strengths:

Fundamentals of fuel cell operation
Key areas were identified as Kinetics and mechanism of oxygen reduction and oxygen evolution reactions, Kinetics and mechanism of fuel oxidation and hydrogen evolution reactions, Corrosion of catalysts, supports, and bi-polar plates, Development of in-situ tools and modelling, Electrode/ electrolyte interface, Development of new catalysts/ supports/ electrolytes/bi-polar plates, Characterising the voltage losses: mass transport, kinetic and ohmic.
Durability and Degradation
Key areas were identified as Ageing tests (PEM: accelerated aging, real time evaluation, mechanical cycling (electrolyte creep), SOFC: thermal cycling,redox cycling,oad cycling), Mechanism identification – Understanding degradation (PEM: cold start, start up, shutdown, effect on catalysts and supports, Bipolar plates; SOFC: sealants, catalysts, anode poisoning), Diagnostic tools (PEM: non destructive, non intrusive, cellperformance post mortem; SOFC: gas analysis, thermal analysis, post mortem analysis, cell performance), Lifetime and reliability modelling (Durability of BoP; Test protocols;Develop accelerated life testing; Test on realistic conditions (load profile, environment, start stops, effect of dynamic conditions).
System Integration
Key areas were identified as Air, thermal and water management – mass and energy balance, Buffer in between reformer and FC stack, SOFC start up arrangement, Ease of maintenance/ replacement and Improving system efficiency (Improved efficiency and flexibility of the electrical power converters; CHP in SOFC and PEMFC; Improved thermal efficiency by coupling heat to reformer (SOFC) or hydride store (PEMFC); H2 recycling strategies to improve reactant efficiency).
Fuel Flexibility
Key areas were identified as Fuel clean-up and mitigation of poisons (Gas purification e.g. removal of S from natural gas; Reduction of poison content in anode gas), Poison resistance (SOFC: S-tolerant/ internal reforming anodes; PEMFC: CO (and other poisons) tolerance; Hydrogen store: poisoning of solid state substrates) and Fuel storage (Fuel storage for mixed fuel applications; New storage materials).
This call invites proposals that address some or more of the challenges listed above –

with an emphasis on cost reduction and working with industry as appropriate.

Last date for submission of forms: 25-11-2010

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