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In order to achieve the objectives of the MethCell project, three specialized bodies in the field, a small company (PLEIONE) and two research organizations (University of Patras / Department of Materials Science and FORTH / IEXMI) will cooperate.



Pleione Energy S.A.


Shanghai Jiao Tong University


University of Patras / Department of Materials Science


Pleione Energy S.A.

Pleione Energy S.A. is an International Joint Venture between the Greek company ADAMANT COMPOSITES LTD and the German company OMNIDEA-RTG Gmbh. The company was established in 2015 and is since based at the Technology incubator of the National Center for Scientific Research (NCSR) "Demokritos" in Athens, Greece.

Pleione Energy develops and provides technological applications for the energy and aerospace sector. The main goal is to identify and synthesize leading edge technologies to industrial applications and products, maximizing their exploitation potential. Currently, the company focuses on the development of innovative and cost-effective applications and systems for energy conversion, distribution and storage using enabling graphene technologies that can benefit both the industry and society at large. Advanced materials and nanotechnology expertise, along with extensive research experience in the energy and aerospace sector, empowers the team behind the company to achieve technological breakthroughs.

Pleione Energy S.A through its participation in two industrial projects of the European Space Agency (ESA) is developing two innovative graphene enabled products. Currently both products have reached pre-commercial level having a working prototype in place.

  1. Graphene based lithium battery and supercapacitors cells
  2. Graphene based structural adhesives enabled also for electrical and thermal control

Additionally, in collaboration with its shareholders, Pleione Energy is developing graphene-enabled polymer films with tailored gas barrier properties.

The company is also working on novel energy management concepts and has designed a Grid-Connected Hybrid Energy Storage System that incorporates graphene-based energy storage cells in a cost-effective way. For this product idea, Pleione has received two awards in start-up innovation competitions one in national level (Innovation and Technology Competition of National Bank of Greece Business Seeds) and one in European level (KIC InnoEnergy’s KICkoff Competition, second prize award)

University of Patras / Department of Materials Science

UPAT (University of Patras) is the third largest University in Greece concerning the number of students, faculty members, administrative personnel, number of departments and number of publications. UPAT includes 24 Departments, with a large number of sectors and disciplines, which operate 161 fully equipped laboratories. It has 31,300 undergraduate and 4,038 postgraduate students. It enumerates 672 faculty members, 155 of teaching staff, and 368 administrative personnel. UPAT is amongst the top 5-7% of the Universities in the world with regard to excellence, and particularly the Materials Science Department is ranked in the 266th place worldwide. UPAT has extensive experience in project management and demonstrates a boom of scientific programs and administration of funds of over 250 MEuro for the last decade.

The Materials Science Department, which coordinates the project is involved in the development of methanol reforming catalysts and bipolar plates, has extensive experience on several synthetic processes (wet chemical, hydrothermal and flame routes, solid state, chemical vapour deposition) for the development and in depth characterization of a large gamut of materials (carbon nanostructures such as functionalized carbon nanotubes, graphene and graphene oxides, porous and template carbons, as well as organic/inorganic colloidal nanoassemblies and nanopowders based on metals and metal oxides). The Materials Science Department has also experience on modelling and design of materials for tuning their electronic properties and studying interactions at the interfaces. Therefore UPAT will substantially contribute to the development and thorough characterization of catalytic platforms for their integration into the anode compartment of the fuel cell and will also assist the industrial partner (PLEIONE) in the design of the bipolar plates. Prof. George Avgouropoulos will be the scientific coordinator. He has more than 10 years of extensive expertise in fuel cell related projects funded by EC and FCH JU, while he has recently coordinated a demonstration project on internal reforming methanol fuel cells (IRMFC), thus offering innovative ideas and solutions which fit exactly with the expertise of the Chinese partner in polymer electrolytes and fully cover the objectives of the present project.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU)

Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), as one of the higher education institutions which enjoy a long history and a world-renowned reputation in China, is a key university directly under the administration of the Ministry of Education (MOE) of the People's Republic of China and co-constructed by MOE and Shanghai Municipal Government. Through 121 years' unremitting efforts, SJTU has become a comprehensive, research-oriented, and internationalized top university in China. By December 2016, SJTU has had 28 schools/departments, 21 research institutions, 13 affiliated hospitals, 2 affiliated medical research institute, 12 directly affiliated units and 6 directly affiliated enterprises, with 16,195 undergraduates and 30,270 postgraduates (14,374 master degree candidates and 6,719 doctorate degree candidates), 2,401 overseas students. The university faculty includes 2,835 full-time teachers, 22 members of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 24 members of Chinese Academy of Engineering. By QS World University Rankings, SJTU is ranked in the 62th place worldwide.

SJTU enjoys an increasingly high scientific research level and technology innovation level. Up to 2016, SJTU led the country for the 7th consecutive year in terms of both the project number and the amount of money issued by National Natural Science Foundation of China. The number of SCI included papers in terms of the Article, and Review hit a historical high with the total number of 6,027. Among them, international outstanding paper reaches 2,497. The total number of domestic SCI-cited papers reaches 26,749, ranking the first in China. 2,414 papers were regarded as "doing-a-good-job" papers, ranking the third in China. In 10 years, SCI-cited papers have reached 39,913 and 366,612 times, continue to maintain the second in China.

The School of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Civil Engineering (NAOCE) consists of five departments: Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, Civil Engineering, Architecture and International Shipping. The School also features two state key disciplines (i.e., Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering,and Mechanics), and two Shanghai key disciplines (i.e., Fluid Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering).

Over the years,the school of NAOCE has been undertaking many important research programmes of the country, such as“973 project”,“863 project”, national natural science foundation programmes and so on. Besides, the school also carries on a lot of cooperative projects with famous enterprises around the world. As the pioneer of China‘s higher education and science research, many talents have been cultivated. They designed the first 10,000-ton cargo ship, the first 7000-metre-deep underwater manned submersible of China.

In recent years, research has been carried out for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), lithium batteries and so on. The scope of the research covers many aspects, such as electrochemical catalysis mechanism, key materials, fuel cell components and system development.

Project Description

The main target of the MethCell project is to develop a functional reformed methanol fuel cell by combining and achieving three main research objectives:
(i) New generation Intermediate temperature molten proton conductor electrolyte membranes,
(ii) highly efficient methanol reforming catalysts operations at 200-250oC,
(iii) low cost, corrosion resistant, metal bipolar plates.


  1. Pleione Energy S.A.
  2. University of Patras / Department of Materials Science
  3. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Project Coordinator

Name: George Avgouropoulos, Associate Professor

Phone: +30 2610 996 312

E-Mail: geoavg@upatras.gr

Address: Patras University Campus,
Patras, GR-26504

Research project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call "Bilateral and Multilateral RTD cooperation between Greece and China" (project code: T7EDKI-00365).

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