Recycling and re-manufacturing of noble metal electrocatalysts for energy storage and conversion devices by use of efficient and environmentally friendlier approaches Context: Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell (PEMFC) and Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolyser (PEMWE) will play a major role in our energy transition towards sustainable energy. The core of PEMFC and PEMWE is the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) which is composed of noble metal (Pt-based and Ir-based electrocatalysts respectively). The degradation of these materials upon operation is a major brake on economic growth for the large scale deployment of these technologies in view of electric energy production and storage via H2 vector. This bottleneck is mainly due to the fact that catalysts made of nanoparticles (NP) composed of noble metals (pure Pt, PtM -with M a 3d transition metal, Co or Ni- alloy for PEMFC application, Ir for PEMWE), which are mandatory elements of MEA to catalyze electrochemical reactions, are yet not recycled once degraded through working conditions. Recycling of NP from used MEA starts with a selective and efficient extraction of catalytic metal layers (Pt, Co, Ni, Ir…) followed by re-manufacturing of electrocatalysts displaying similar electrochemical performances to that of the starting one. This virtuous loop requires chemical processes displaying environmental impacts as low as achievable. It is our aim to gather the competences available at three laboratories (LEPMI, LMGP and G-SCOP, three partners in the LABEX structure CEMAM in Grenoble, France) in order to set a recycling-remanufacturing method for obtaining efficient new electrocatalysts from used ones able at limiting global environmental impacts of such energy devices.
mise à jour le 14 janvier 2019