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New catalyst materials for heavy-duty applications (CORAL-HD)

New catalyst materials for heavy-duty applications are key for future heavy-duty fuel cell applications. In the project „CORAL-HD“, Hahn-Schickard scientists develop a new generation of membrane electrode assemblies together with other research institutes in Freiburg and the industrial partner Hereaus.

The electrification of commercial vehicles by means of fuel cells will play a central role in reducing emissions in the transport sector in the near future. Fuel cells for commercial vehicles require comparatively long lifetimes (30 000h), which makes new material development for fuel cell electrodes necessary. The aim of CORAL-HD is therefore to develop long-term stable electrodes for heavy-duty applications in cooperation between 4 institutes in Freiburg. Electrodes with an initial performance of 1.2 W/cm² at 0.65 V (0.4 mgPt/cm²) and a power loss below 10% after a simulated 30 000 h commercial vehicle load profile are projected. First, stable mesoporous carbon supports will be developed for this purpose at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of the University of Freiburg, and second, stable highly active platinum catalysts will be fabricated by particle atomic layer deposition (pALD) at the Institute of Microsystems Engineering of the University of Freiburg. The materials will be transferred into high-performance fuel cell CCMs (catalyst coated membranes) by Hahn-Schickard and intensively characterized at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems. In Coral-HD, it is planned to investigate and prepare the scale up of those materials with the industrial partner Heraeus. This will be done firstly by using low-cost starting materials and exclusively scalable processes, and secondly, the scaling will be actively prepared. Ideally, CORAL-HD materials can thus be offered commercially from 2025 (possibly earlier). This provides a good time frame for using CORAL-HD materials to electrify commercial vehicles with fuel cells in the following decade.

Catalyst Optimization Reasearch for Stable Activity over Life-time in Heavy Duty Fuel Cells (CORAL-HD)
Project Management Jülich
Funding Number
01.03.2021 to 29.02.2024
Cooperation Partner
Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE, Institut für anorganische Chemie der Universität Freiburg, Institut für Mikrosystemtechnik (IMTEK) der Universität Freiburg, Heraeus Group
Maturity Level



Matthias Breitwieser

+49 761 203 54063 Contact


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