The laboratory “Aggregates, Interfaces and Materials for Energy” at CNRS Montpellier, Institute Charles Gerhardt, is a joint CNRS-University of Montpellier-Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier joint research unit (JRU) labelled as a Carnot Institute by the French Ministry of Research in recognition of its collaborative research with industry. Its fuel cells, electrolyser and hydrogen research programme has been developed over the past 20 years and the group currently comprises 9 staff members and 12 post-docs and doctoral students. It has a strong international reputation for its contributions to the field of proton conducting membrane development, modification and characterisation, and has pioneered development of polymer membrane materials for use in the intermediate and high temperature ranges and, more recently, of non-PGM fuel cell and electrolyser catalysts. Its review articles on PEMFC membranes and electrospinning for the development of energy materials, and publications on non-PGM catalysts are highly cited. The group is currently developing deposition methods for active reinforcements for fuel cell and electrolyser membranes, low-dimensionality electrocatalysts and their supports, non-PGM and ultra-low Pt catalysts for PEM and AEM fuel cells and electrolysers, and supported anode catalysts for PEM electrolysis. CNRS coordinated FCH-JU MAESTRO, where it introduced active nanofibre reinforcements and novel architectures for reinforced PFSA membranes and is coordinator of VOLUMETRIQ, which further develops these membranes and transfers them for fabrication at scale, ultimately for high volume production and CCMs, and of GAIA where it also leads the “reinforced membranes” work package. CNRS Montpellier participates in FCH JU INSPIRE with roles in membrane, low Pt and non-PGM catalyst development, and leads the CRESCENDO project on non-PGM catalysts for automotive MEAs.
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“CNRS is participating in ANIONE to advance anion exchange membrane electrolyser technology in close interaction with project partners from industry and other research organisations”