Research Fellows Directory
Dr Pieter Levecque
University of Southampton
My current research is around improved fuel cell catalysts, catalyst layers and engineered materials for fuel cells.
1) Fuel Cell catalysts: the current carbon material used to make fuel cell catalysts corrodes under long term operations. Alternatives are hard to find and need to be conductive, acid resistant, heat resistant and have a high surface area. Therefore a lot of my of research is towards evaluating inorganic support materials. At the same time we are also working towards a better understanding of platinum as a catalyst material in terms of loading, particle size and interparticle distance.
2) Novel catalyst layers for fuel cells: Besides a very active catalyst where reactants can easily get to the active site and be removed afterwards a crucial aspect is putting all these structures together in a working fuel cell, with the catalyst layer as a crucial element. This part of my research focuses on ways to introduce new support materials into the catalyst layer as well as improving the catalyst utilisation in these layers.
3) Engineering transport layers: reactants and products, sometimes in different phases need to be brought into and removed from the fuel cell as effictive as possible. Materials where the different design parameters are independently controlled are being developed.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)