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Objectives and Activities

■The new beamline BL36XU is completed at SPring-8/The completion ceremony(2012.12.26)

■Purpose and present situation of the fuel cell XAFS project[PDF]

Objectives

We aim to promote "Catalyst structure reaction analysis by X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS)" as the sub-theme of "Development of PEFC Technologies for Practical Application/Development of Technology on Basic and Common Issues/Analysis of Morphology, Reaction Mechanism, And Mass Transfer Phenomena for MEA Materials" from the program of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

A background and the circumstances

Fuel cell is positioned in "Cool Earth-Energy Innovative Technology Plan" as an important technology to cut the amount of CO2 emission in halves in the world by 2050, and its significance/necessity was also mentioned even in the Japanese New Growth Strategy (the cabinet decision in December 2009). Furthermore, with consideration of the action plan at the Council for Science and Technology Policy (July 8, 2010), fuel cell was referred to energy utilization as one of the important measures of science technology (total 8 measure categories) in 2011 for actualization of the new growth strategy. In white paper on science and technology (2010) published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, fuel cell was referred as a mitigation technology of greenhouse gas emission for the important research field/theme at the preliminary science technology research to sustain the future society (March, 2010) Among fuel cells, polymer electrolyte fuel cell is expected to expand by fuel cell vehicle utilizing the feature of high-power density and low-sound operation, stationary cogeneration system, portable power source, and power source of information equipment. Our country has been steadily accomplishing the research achievements for polymer electrolyte fuel cell such as commercializing a household fuel cell before the rest of the world, but in preparation for the full-scale commercialization of fuel cell vehicle during the period of 2020-2030, the fuel cell technological development including improvement of durability/reliability as well as cost reduction from a viewpoint of global competitive enhancement is positioned as one of the urgent social important issues to be solved by our country. For achieving a breakthrough in the technological development of next generation fuel cell, it recognizes the necessity not comprehending a mere extension of the methodology up to the present but comprehending the methodology as looking back on the basic principle of fuel cell catalyst system. Based on our country's social requirement and background in relation to environmental issue with consideration of poor in natural resource/energy, the University of Electro-Communications places the technological development of next generation fuel cell as one of the most important social agendas and our country's future industrial vitalization with it as an important mission from now on. As one of measures to actualize the mission or as a representative institute of Technology Research Association FC-Cubic, we have applied to the project for technological development of polymer electrolyte fuel cell in practical-use facilitation implemented as a part of "NEDO Energy Innovation Program" in collaboration with National Institute of Natural Sciences-Institute for Molecular Science and the University of Hokkaido. The joint proposal was adopted as of April 28 and plans to be implemented (with approximately 3.5 billion yen/5 years). Therefore, for the project promotion and the base of fuel cell research education at our school, we have established "the Fuel cell innovation research center" in May 1st this year. The center newly constructs the world's most advanced "XAFS beamline BL36XU (Catalytic Reaction Dynamics for Fuel Cells)" with using synchrotoron radiation at SPring-8, and clarifies a structural change/electron status change in fuel cell catalyst, elution/deterioration phenomenon of catalyst, electrochemical reaction mechanism for electrode catalyst surface, binding mode between catalyst surface and ionomer, and effect of catalyst poison with using the facility, then aims to popularize/actualize the next generation fuel cell vehicle by proposing a specific guideline for catalyst development of highly active/durable polymer electrolyte fuel cell. At the center, it executes a new beamline construction (SPring-8), operation/maintenance in the aspect of beamline technology, a research for fuel cell XAFS (X-ray Absorption Fine Structure) with beamline, fuel cell catalyst research with various spectroscopic/analytic methods, symposium/lecture/research workshop, presentation of research results, contact/adjustment with co-operative research location, and management/operation for XAFS project suboffice (SPring-8) at the University of Electro-Communications. The new beamline plans to be completed by the end of 2011 and start its full scale operation in the second half of 2012. With the establishment of the Fuel cell innovation research center, a fuel cell research development will significantly be progressed and expected to contribute to build the mighty Japan as solidifying our country's position to lead the world in terms of popularization/actualization of fuel cell vehicle.

The center establishment period and staff members are as follows.

The installation period of a center

2011.5.1~2016.3.31

The setting position of a center

F building open lab Room 301

Representative(the center director)

Professor Yasuhiro Iwasawa

Staff

Yasuhiro Iwasawa The University of Electro-Communications, Graduate school of Informatics and Engineering/ Professor (the center director)
Taku Sakai The University of Electro-Communications, Special assistant for the university president
Katsumi Tanaka The University of Electro-Communications, Graduate school of Informatics and Engineering/Professor
Shigeo Hayashi The University of Electro-Communications, Graduate school of Informatics and Engineering/ Professor
Tomoya Uruga The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed professor (deputy director)
Samjeské Gabor Arwed The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed professor
Shinobu Takao The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed associate professor
Oki Sekizawa The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Takuma Kaneko The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Kotaro Higashi The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Xiao Zhao The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
ACHARYYA, Shubhra Shankha The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
GHOSH, Shilpi The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Tomohiro Sakata The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Yusuke Yoshida The University of Electro-Communications, Innovation research center for fuel cells/Specially appointed assistant professor
Hiroyuki Kanesaka Affiliate professor (FC-Cubic laboratory/Deputy director)
Takehiko Sasaki Affiliate associate professor (The University of Tokyo, Graduate school of Frontier Sciences/Associate professor)
Takashi Yamamoto Affiliate associate professor (The University of Tokushima, Graduate school of Institute of Socio-Arts and Science/Associate professor)

The contents of activity

The new beam construction (SPring-8), beamline management, fuel cell XAFS research with beamline, fuel cell catalyst research with various spectroscopic/analytic methods, symposium/lecture/research workshop, presentation of research results, contact・adjustment with co-operative research location, management/operation for XAFS project suboffice (SPring-8) at the University of Electro-Communications will carried out.

Expected results

Combining complementary catalyst analysis data based on time resolution, spatial resolution, and depth resolution XAFS with an innovative XAFS measurement beamline using X-ray from synchrotoron radiation as a probe, clarifying a structural change of fuel cell catalyst/electron state change, dissolution phenomenon, an electrochemical reactivity structure at the time of fuel cell operation, catalyst surface-ionomer binding mode, effect of catalyst poison, then propose a specific guideline for highly-active/durable fuel cell catalyst development. From these results, it is expected to popularize or actualize the next generation fuel cell vehicle.

 

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