We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A lack of standards for testing polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells – the most attractive type of fuel cells for powering vehicles – has hampered objective comparative assessment of their performance and durability under operating conditions and hence of their technological progress. By proposing a test methodology including a set of representative operating conditions and getting European industry and research stakeholders to agree on it, the JRC has helped fill the gap.
A recently published article on the impact of hydrogen sensor miniaturisation shows that in some cases the performance of micro-machined sensors is better in comparison to conventional ones, while in others significant degradations may occur. The study was carried out by the JRC in collaboration with the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the University of Québec Trois-Rivières.
Which demographic, economic, political and social factors are important for developing lead markets of electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, both potential breakthrough technologies for a more sustainable future transport system? Several JRC studies revealed that infrastructure availability, privileged access to dedicated lanes, parking facilities, adapted city centres, commuting behaviour, the environmental footprint and fuel cost savings are important drivers.
The JRC hosts the 5th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS 2013) which aims to improve trust in hydrogen technologies and increase public awareness, by promoting a better understanding of the hazards and risks associated with hydrogen. The three-day conference is organised under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Safety. It is held in Brussels.