Prof. Dr. Angelika Heinzel | Energy Technology

Personal Details

Professor Heinzel studied chemistry at the universities of Münster and Kiel and received her Ph.D. In 1985, from the University of Oldenburg in Physical Chemistry by means of the investigation of intermediates formed during electro-oxidation of alcoholes. She was then employed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg in the department "Chemical Energy Conversion and Storage" and received the position of a group leader in Electrochemistry/ Fuel Cell Development in 1990. Seven years later, she became head of the department "Energy Technology". In 2001, she was appointed to be a full professor for Energy Technology in the department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University of Duisburg-Essen. In 2002, she also accepted the CEO position of ZBT GmbH.


Energy technology is a broad field with high impact on various fields of our society. The students learn to understand the technical challenges of efficient energy conversion as well as political and environmental consequences and possible strategies for secure future energy supply. Therefore, courses on energy technology and energy systems (power plants, from Carnot cycle to technology options), regenerative energy technology (solar, wind, water, geothermal, biomass) and fuel cell and hydrogen technology (fuel cells, hydrogen generation storage and use, future energy scenarios, hybrid systems) are offered.


With a funding volume of approximately 3 mn euros per annum for the University and the ZBT, fuel cell and hydrogen technology form the subject of R&D activities. Mainly, membrane fuel cell systems in the power range up to several kW are the focus. This work includes material development for cell frames/bipolar plates for fuel cells, electrochemical investigation methods for single cells and stacks, system design including balance of plant, fuel processors for hydrogen generation in the power range up to 20 kW hydrogen output, from energy carriers like natural gas, LPG, biogas etc. As an example for an application, residential energy supply systems basing on fuel cell technology enable combined heat and power supply for every household, offering high energy efficiency and low emissions by using natural gas as energy carrier.

Selected research projects of Prof. Heinzel are:

  • LPG-based fuel cell system for remote power supply
  • Fuel processors for residential fuel cell systems
  • Improvement of bipolar plates by carbon nanotubes
  • Metallic bipolar plates with corrosion protective nanocoatings
  • Control strategies for optimized fuel cell operation
  • Production technology for bipolar plates

Professor Heinzel acts as an expert for the European Union and the AiF for evaluation of project proposals. She is engaged in Dechema (chairperson "electrochemical processes"), GDCh (chairperson "applied electrochemistry") and VDI (member of fuel cell group) as well. In addition, she holds membership in the steering committee of the "Grove Fuel Cell Symposium". Numerous scientific publications on the topic of fuel cells have been published in the recent years.
There are various cooperations within the University as well as external ones: for example Oil-and-Heat Institute, RWTH Aachen, Cutec in Claustal-Zellerfeld, University of Düsseldorf, research institute for noble metals and metal chemistry in Schwäbisch Gmünd, MPI for carbon research, Humboldt-University Berlin, DLR Stuttgart, Fraunhofer IPA, Stuttgart, ECN, Petten, Netherlands and others.