Prof. Dr. Junji Inukai

Professor, Clean Energy Research Center, Division of Fuel Cell Research, University of Yamanashi, Japan.

Professor Junji Inukai earned his BSc in 1987, MSc in 1989, and PhD in 1992 in Chemistry from University of Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a Full Professor at Clean Energy Research Center and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Nanomaterials Center, University of Yamanashi, Japan. His research interest covers fuel cell materials and analyses, clean energy, instrument development, surface electrochemistry, and surface chemistry. He has commercialized two analytical instruments for Shimadzu Corp., Japan for monitoring oxygen partial pressure inside fuel cells: FC-O2 Monitor FCM-405H-Oxy commercialized in 2009 and FC-3D Monitor FCM-3D-Oxy in 2016. In addition to that, he is also the owner of 5 Japanese patents on fuel cells and novel analytical methods. He has received numerous awards, which are Research Encouragement Award from Tokin Foundation of Science & Technology Promotion for “Atom/Molecular Analyses of Structure and Reactivity at Solid/Liquid Interfaces, Presentation Award by Surface Finishing Society of Japan for “Structure Analysis of BTA Adlayers on Cu Single-Crystal Surfaces in Solution”, Journal Award by Surface Science Society of Japan for “Electrode Surfaces Studied by Ultrahigh Vacuum-Electrochemistry Combined System”, and ACS Editors’ Choice by American Chemical Society for “Atomically Flat Pt Skin and Striking Enrichment of Co in Underlying Alloy at Pt 3 Co(111) Single Crystal with Unprecedented Activity for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction”. Notably, in 2021, he received Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. He is also active member in various Academic/Professional organizations: Chemical Society of Japan, Electrochemical Society of Japan, Japan Society of Vacuum and Surface Science, Catalyst Society of Japan, Surface Finishing Society of Japan, Japanese Society for Synchrotron Radiation Research, Japanese Society for Neutron Science, International Electrochemical Society, Electrochemical Society, and La Societe Franco-Japonaise des Techniques Industrielles. His publications have amounted to 110 original papers, 12 books, 29 reviews and interpretive articles.

Speech detail

Materials Needed for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Operated at Temperatures Higher than 100°C

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are used mainly for houses and automobiles. For small cars, batteries can be efficient, while for trucks and buses, fuel cells are expected to be the main players. For PEMFCs for large, heavy-duty automobiles, one of the focused points is developing PEMFCs operated at temperatures higher than 100°C, or hopefully at 120°C.

For the catalyst, conventional Pt-alloy catalysts would not be used because of the dissolution of additional metals at high temperature. Carbon supports should be modified against corrosion, or new material supports are expected. Fluorocarbon polymers, such as Nafion, are difficult to be used at high temperatures without radical scavengers. Hydrocarbon membranes are expected to be employed in the future.

The present situation of the development of those materials are discussed.