Development and test of cathode air filters for mobile and stationary fuel cell systems for agricultural machinery, construction site applications and in the maritime sector

Project description

Fuel cell technology is an important component of the energy transition in the transport sector. Particularly in heavy-duty transport, agricultural and construction machinery, the fuel cell with its high energy density has advantages over battery-based drive technology. Studies show that the efficiency of fuel cells is reduced by air pollutants in the cathode air, and some air pollutants can also irreversibly damage the fuel cell. Therefore, a properly dimensioned pollutant filter is essential for many applications.

The subject of the KaLiBer research project is the measurement of pollutant gas concentrations on agricultural land, in construction site areas and port areas. With the help of the measured pollutant gas concentrations and their effects on the fuel cell evaluated in the project, solutions are to be developed to efficiently filter the pollutant gases from the cathode air.

The findings from this collaborative project will be used to reduce filter replacement intervals and develop a filter concept tailored to the respective application to increase the service life of the stacks and advance the development of fuel cell drives.

Project partners

  • Hydac Fluidcarecenter GmbH
  • ZBT GmbH
  • Zeppelin Power Systems GmbH

Associated project participants

  • PowerCell Germany GmbH
  • Orten Vehicle Construction GmbH
  • AGCO GmbH
The time series of the nitrogen oxide values during a measurement drive through Berlin shows the concentration peaks and the high variability of the concentrations of the pollutants, which can differ by more than 2 orders of magnitude.

Our tasks within the project

Short concentration peaks of pollutants, which can be caused by individual pollutant plumes, can have special harmful effects on fuel cells. For most pollutants, however, there are hardly any measurement data with high temporal resolution. The data are collected by measuring with the MobiLab. In addition to inorganic trace substances, which have already been investigated in the ALASKA project, the focus is on organic pollutants. These compounds are analysed with the help of a mass spectrometer.

Project Period

January 2024 to December 2026

Funded by

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection within the framework of the 7th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government


Dr. Robert WegenerSenior Scientist Head of group "Energy Related Emissions"Building 05.2 / Room 3053+49 2461/61-6914
Dr. Max Gerrit AdamSenior ScientistBuilding 05.2 / Room 3011+49 2461/61-2389
Last Modified: 20.10.2023