ELCO- Elcore GmbH (Team Leader: Dipl. Phys. Dr. Martin Batzer)

General description:

Elcore GmbH is a 100% daughter company of elcomax GmbH, and was founded in 2009. Before 2014, elcore focused on developing and commercialising Nano-CHP-Units (CHP: Combined Heat and Power) for the use in single homes. These units were based on methane reforming and on High-Temperature-Fuel-Cell technology. They contained MEAs fabricated by elcomax GmbH.

For organisational reasons, all employes of elcomax at 31.12.2013 were transferred to elcore on 1.1.2014. All the tasks of all these employes stayed the same. Therefore, additionally to its inherent competencies relied to the development of Nano-CHP-units, elcore has now the same competencies and resources as elcomax did before. These competencies, which are the ones relevant to the DECORE-Project, are described below in the former description of elcomax GmbH:

Elcomax GmbH has a proprietary technology to manufacture MEAs, the core component of a FC. Elcomax’ 100 % daughter company, Elcore GmbH, has a unique system technology for Combined Heat and Power FC products. Together the companies have the entire value chain – from basic chemicals to full systems – in hand. This is a unique situation in the FC industry and a great advantage regarding cost, quality and time to market. A team of 50 experts have realized a new manufacturing technique for low-cost MEAs and, at Elcore, have integrated these results into a unique system technology based on HT-PEM-FC technology.

Elcomax GmbH acquired the HT-PEM-FC activities from the German corporation Sartorius AG in 2008. The successful development of innovative electrochemical pulse deposition process for fabrication of catalyst and MEAs made Elcomax to become a leading company on a German market. By Elcomax-approach a platinum loading on electrodes in MEA can be reduced for factor 10. Elcomax GmbH can demonstrate HT-PEM technology with target lifetimes of > 70.000 operating hours. Based on these achievements, Elcore can demonstrate its ability to realize and supply low-cost and low-maintenance CHP units to volume and mass markets in Europe.

Both companies are endured with a strong industrial property rights and many patent applications (e.g.WO2010115495, US2010009234, WO2011054500). Dr. Manfred Stefener, founder of both Elcomax and Elcore, has a proven success record in the FC industry: In the year 2000, he founded the company SFC Energy AG and was responsible for its expansion as CEO and subsequently Director of the board until beginning of 2011. The company went IPO in 2007 and has about 100 employees. SFC Energy is the first provider of FC products in volume markets and has sold almost 25,000 FCs into various market segments.

Role in the project and main tasks:

Integration of a new nanostructured support material in anode and testing of MEAs under real HT-PEMs conditions.

Relevant experience:

Development, optimization and characterization of electrodes and MEAs. The main focus of the work was on the improvement of the long term stability of catalyst support materials, catalysts for the enhancement of the ORR and improvement of the lifetime of electrodes for phosphoric acid based HT-PEM-FCs.

Key persons:

Martin Batzer worked at elcomax from May 2008 until he switched to elcore on 1.1.2014. In his work life, he has worked intensively on catalyst layers and on catalyst synthesis for DMFC and for HT-PEM.

Markus Perchthaler works since 2006 on the on the development of MEAs for HT-PEM FCs. He joined Elcomax in January 2010, switched to elcore on 1.1.2014, and works as an R&D engineer in the field of acid based HT-PEM-FCs.