The fourth Fuel Cells Science and Technology Conference event was held at the Confederation of Danish Industries, Copenhagen, Denmark, from 8 - 9 October 2008. The two day international conference gave the opportunity to find out about the latest advances in fuel cell systems and to meet with engineers and researchers from across the globe.
The conference covered all the dimensions of fuel cell development with the themes featuring: membrane science, fuel processing, materials science, cell and stack technology, and modelling. The conference featured 230 oral and poster presentations by researchers from industry and academia. There were three plenary talks and around 60 keynote speakers.
I gave a 20-minute oral presentation on direct methanol fuel cells entitled, ‘Preparation and characterisation of Pt-Ru catalysts supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes for methanol oxidation’. Carbon nanotubes as catalyst support have attracted large interest in fuel cell applications, and the doping of nitrogen into carbon nanotubes has offered new opportunities for tailoring their chemical and physical properties. Our current work on the use of plasma technology for the doping of nitrogen onto the carbon nanotubes has shown promising results as an alternative catalyst support for the development of methanol fuel cells.
This conference was a very good opportunity to meet people from various universities, institutes and companies who are planning fuel cell commercialisation. It was useful to discuss my work with my peers and their input will be very important for developing this further. I will also be collaborating with a research group for future work.
I am very thankful to SCI for offering me a bursary from the Messel Fund, which helped me to partly cover the conference costs.
Dr Raghuram Chetty
Ruhr University Bochum