At the Syensqo Green Hydrogen Platform, Bertrand Pavageau is managing the scouting portfolio and the external strategic partnerships (Academia, start-ups, prospects, customers), connecting and managing material development projects to pave the future of the green H2 economy.
Specialized in polymer science, physico-chemistry and transversal “Agile” project management, Bertrand is making proofs of concepts ready to be investigated at larger scale. Bertrand is physically based in Bordeaux (Syensqo, Laboratory of the Future) and virtually in every region to interact with project teams and partners.
What was your original motivation to become a researcher?
My core driver is the curiosity to understand how our advanced materials are performing at the end applications device level to propose step-change/breakthrough solutions to the market needs. After almost 30 years in research and innovation in different positions, the passion is still there!
What is your (main) research area today?
I work in a transversal and business oriented organization at Syensqo, the Green Hydrogen Platform, where we aim to develop materials solutions to serve the whole Green Hydrogen value chain (from H2 production, to transport/storage and H2 conversion).
What is the main objective of your team in BRAVA?
The BRAVA project has been perceived as a great opportunity for Syensqo to push and combine materials beyond the state of the art, in particular ionomers for membranes, to reach BRAVA overall objectives, more particularly in terms of durability and efficiency. The BRAVA high demanding application (PEM-FC for aerospace) will also offer a significant progress and maturity on our materials to also serve other PEM-FC applications.
What expertise and facilities does your team have to meet those objectives?
Syensqo provides its core expertise in fluoro ionomers development and characterisations for membranes and electrode binders, together with expertise in radical scavenging solutions to extend the fuel cell durability. Moreover, in strong interaction with CNRS, we are investigating polymer reinforcement strategies and thinner membrane designs to improve “composite” proton exchange membrane performances, such as mechanical stability, hydrogen barrier, while keeping high proton conductivity.
Which aspects of your research at BRAVA do you believe are the most innovative and what unique opportunities offer BRAVA to yourself and/or your organisation?
Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) reinforcement strategies (in strong collaboration with CNRS) are for me the most impactful contributions to the BRAVA project, with the aim to offer thinner membranes while providing outstanding durability and dramatically reduce the cost-in-use.
How do you see the future use of the BRAVA-results and the impact of BRAVA-project in our daily lives?
The BRAVA project is a great example to merge cutting-edge and pluri-disciplinary expertise in the field of PEM fuel cells through the combination of advanced materials. We believe that BRAVA outcomes will change the paradigm in the fuel cell industry. The BRAVA results will also echo in other fields of PEM-FC (heavy duty, train, marine…) where PEM-FC high power density and durability are key success factors.