The establishment of Fuel Cell Institute (Institut Sel Fuel), the first research institute in Malaysia conducting research on fuel cell and hydrogen energy, was approved by the Ministry of Higher Education on the 1st of July 2006. The name of the Institute was initially Institute of Fuel Cell Technology (Institut Teknologi Sel Bahan Api). The new name Fuel Cell Institute (Institut Sel Fuel) was approved on 14th July 2007. The founding of this institute reflected the strength of fuel cell and hydrogen energy research in the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The founding of Fuel Cell Institute at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia also reflected the strength of research and development in renewable energy at the University especially in solar energy, hydrogen energy and fuel cell. The idea to start research in fuel cell and hydrogen energy at UKM was mooted at a meeting between the Founding Director and researchers from Nuclear Agency Malaysia (then PUSPATI) and Tenaga Nasional in 1994. Research in fuel cell and hydrogen energy at UKM started with the construction of the first proton exchange membrane fuel cell in Malaysia made from Nafion membrane donated by Dupont (M) Sdn Berhad, carbon paper electrodes and perspex plates in 1995.
Research and Education
Why we are a green organisation
Our research programs concentrate on green technology with focus on:
1. Policy & Economic Program
The program focuses on conducting research and constructs suitable administrative tool, national policy, legislation and resource management that are essential to develop the nation’s fuel cell industry. Economic model of fuel cell with hydrogen based is developed to advice government on policy incentives.
2. Electro-catalysis Program
The program focuses on exploration and intensification activity to achieve a more effective, efficient, simple and inexpensive electro catalyst and electro catalysis system. The application of these two (2) systems will be on a more constructive technology development of a Membrane Electrolyte Assembly (MEA).
3. Electrochemical Material Program
This program focuses on research and development activity to fabricate a more effective, efficient, simple and inexpensive electrochemical material; i.e. bipolar plate and polymer electrolyte membrane. The application of the electrochemical material will be on enhancement of technologies for; stacking, fuel cell bipolar plate and Membrane Electrolyte Assembly (MEA).
4. Photo-catalysis Program
This program focuses on research and development of heterogeneous photo catalyst to directly photo electrolysis water producing hydrogen and oxygen gas. This immobilized photo-catalyst acquires from photo electrode will be for the development of photo electrolysis technology to directly generate hydrogen from water by using solar energy.
5. Catalysis & Separation Program
This program focuses on research and development for heterogeneous catalyst, CO adsorbent and ceramic separation membrane for production of pure hydrogen from fossil fuel. The catalyst, CO adsorbent and ceramic membrane are for development of an enhanced fuel cell technology.
6. Application of Fuel Cell Program
This program focuses on research and development of innovative fuel cell application to extend the fuel cell utilization in various industrial sectors.