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GF04 - Catalysts for energy applications


One of the main challenges for green energy implementation is to ensure the continuous availability of energy or at least a lifetime of energy delivery consistent with the target application (i.e: electric vehicle, smart phone, etc.). Both issues generally require the combination of different energy storage/production solutions where the electrochemical devices appear as key components. These include batteries, fuels cells and supercapacitors. Some of these electrochemical components like metal-air batteries (Zn-, Li-air devices) or proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) require large amounts of scarce and costly Pt catalyst, which strongly impacts their viability slowing down their introduction into market. Doped Few-Layer-Graphene (FLG) films with N-, B-, S-, P- or transition metal- hybridization (Fe, Co, etc) can potentially induce efficient oxygen reduction, while being less sensitive to catalyst poisoning (CO, Methanol, sulphur, etc.), thus promoting longer device lifetimes. In the same manner, biofuel cells (BFCs) can efficiently convert chemical reactions into electrical energy by means of enzymes or microbes grafted on carbon-based substrates. This paves the way to the development of novel Pt-free and cost-effective catalytic electrodes based on graphene and related materials (GRMs).

This call topic targets the development of Pt-free GRM-based catalyst electrodes and their integration into energy devices.
Complementarities are envisaged with WP9(Energy Applications), WP10(Nanocomposites), WP1(Materials). Consortia should have at least one industrial partner


  • Investigate catalytic reaction pathways and catalyst ageing mechanisms, with an assessment of catalytic efficiency
  • Demonstration of catalytic electrode integration into an electrochemical device with breadboard validation of the novel Pt-free electrode in a relevant environment.
  • Development of GRM-based catalyst nano-materials that demonstrate their efficiency once integrated in energy devices. Different routes towards functionalization should be explored including orthogonal surface/border and double-sided decoration of GRM-based platforms to be achieved with new synthetic methods, including post-functionalization and supramolecular approaches.
  • Targeted devices are proton exchange membrane fuel cells, enzyme-based biofuel cells and metal-air batteries.


  • Enlarge and strengthen the impact of GRMs in energy applications.
  • Provide industry with technological building blocks for manufacturing of sustainable and lower cost catalytic electrodes and related electrochemical components.
  • Promote the integration of new industrial partners within the Flagship.
  • Generate a new scientific and technological asset base on which SMEs can establish themselves as innovation players in areas with high potential for future commercial or societal impact.

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