Xianguo Li

University of Waterloo
Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2L 3G1

Presentation Title: Investigation of Optimizing Manufacturing Methods for Advanced Membrane-Electrode Assemblies in PEM Fuel Cells


PEM fuel cell is maturing for large-scale commercial applications. Membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs), in which electric power is generated, are the key component of PEM fuel cell power systems. One of the key challenges now is to manufacture MEAs at volume with low cost, consistency, reliability and repetitiveness among the same batch and different batches of manufacturing processes, within a specified quantifiable tolerance range. Several low-cost manufacturing methods with volume capability have been evaluated, including catalyst-coated substrate (CCS), catalyst-coated membrane (CCM) and decal-transfer method (DTM). For each method, systematic and consistent investigations were conducted for various sub-processes and conditioning parameters, such as DTM with different operation temperatures, and additional layers of ionomer and carbon at different locations and orders, along with the sensitivity of the platinum loadings on the MEA performance. It was observed that at the high Pt loading of 0.5 mg/cm2, excellent MEA performance was achieved for all the three methods with almost identical results. When the Pt loading is reduced to 0.125 mg/cm2 (75% reduction in the Pt loading), the performance of MEAs made by the different methods changes substantially, indicating significant sensitivity of the MEAs to the Pt loading.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Xianguo Li is a Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. His research interests include fuel cells, liquid fuel atomization and sprays, and green energy systems, as well as the thermal management of power batteries for electric vehicles. Dr. Li serves as the editor in chief for the International Journal of Green Energy, Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Thermal Engineering; Vice President, Technical Program, Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering; President of the Fuel Cell Division, International Association for Hydrogen Energy, and President, International Association for Green Energy (IAGE). He is a fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering.