Panos’ PhD research was focused on degradation and degradation mitigation in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. As part of this work, he investigated the efficacy of metal oxide nanoparticles and metal nanoparticles in mitigating polymer electrolyte membrane degradation as a function of their microstructure, redox properties (for metal oxides), hydrogen peroxide decomposition ability, and location within the fuel cell. The incorporation of regenerative rare-earth metal oxides within the membrane solved the membrane degradation issue in PEFCs since a greater than one order of magnitude reduction in membrane degradation rate was achieved when composite Nafion-(regenerative metal oxide) membranes were used.During his postdoctoral fellowship at Georgia Institute of Technology, his research (sponsored by Toyota) was focused on modelling of Pt dissolution (model was built on gPROMS® software) for low temperature fuel cells. It involved the investigation of the effect of uniform particle size distributions as well as modified platinum surfaces on platinum stability. As part of this research, he also conducted in-situ EXAFS studies to investigate the PtO growth under low potentials.
He also investigated the diffusivity of vanadium ions through composite membranes in order to explore the relationship between membrane permeability and diffusivity and aid the on-going research for the development of polymer electrolyte membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries.
During his postdoctoral fellowship at Technical University Berlin, Panos’ research was focused on the activity and stability of Pt/non-carbon supports under the highly oxidizing PEFC conditions. Briefly, it involved the synthesis and characterization (BET, TEM, and EDX) of non-carbon electrocatalyst supports as well as the investigation of particle size growth under accelerating fuel cell degradation conditions using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).
The fuel cell catalysis project at the Centre aims to:
1) Synthesize new electrocatalysts based on the lung structure. Fundamental information on the structure, activity and stability of these newly synthesized electrocatalysts will be obtained.
2) Explore fundamental aspects of morphological degradation of Pt nanoparticles on standard and unconventional non-carbon supports under conditions mimicking those of the cathode of a PEFC.
The proposed research is driven by the need to increase Pt utilization (improve electrocatalyst structure) inspired by Nature and address questions on Pt morphological degradation at a fundamental level.
Project: Nature-inspired fuel cells
Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering, Technical University Berlin, Germany (2013 - 2014)
Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta (2010 - 2013)
Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago (2005 - 2009)
Diploma in Chemical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Greece (2000 - 2005)