Engineering professor awarded funding for fuel cell research

Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Waterloo professor has received $1.89 million to develop groundbreaking hydrogen fuel cell technology for urban transit vehicles.

The announcement made at the University of Waterloo today will support a project for Xianguo Li, professor, mechanical and mechatronics engineering.

The project, Development of Low-Cost, High Performing and Durable Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Project, is supported by the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) along with a partnership between Professor Li, Western University, Ballard Power Systems Inc., and StarPower ON Systems Inc. It’s also co-funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

“We are very pleased to collaborate with CUTRIC along with partners in academia, government, and industry on this project which will allow us to develop next generation fuel cell technology to maintain Canada’s leadership in the clean energy technology arena,” says Professor Li.

Over the next four years, this project will develop world-class research in next generation fuel cell technologies for transit and automobile applications. With vehicle emissions having the highest environmental impact and health hazard in cities, this study focuses on zero-emission fuel cell technology for urban transit vehicles that can be used in: hydrogen fuel-cell power/propulsion systems; battery electric power/propulsion systems with fuel cell as ranger extenders; and, electric power/propulsion systems with battery-fuel cell electric hybrids. The research focuses on PEM (Polymer Electrolyte Membrane) fuel cell technology and the technical challenges involving cost and durability under variable load operations.

CUTRIC is a member-based innovation consortium that supports the development of next-generation low-carbon smart mobility technologies, and the commercialization of technologies that offer innovative solutions to Canada’s ongoing carbon reducing efforts. 

Professor Li with funders and Sanjeev Gill

Alan Young (Ballard Power Systems Inc.), Josipa Petrunic (CUTRIC), Professor Xianguo Li, and Sanjeev Gill, Associate Vice President, Innovation.

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