Platinum Fuel Cells Made Practical

By incorporating nickel and other metallic elements into platinum catalysts, researchers have enhanced the performance and durability of fuel cells.

AsianScientist (May 31, 2018) – A research group in South Korea has developed a fuel cell catalyst that has 12 times the performance and twice the durability of previously used platinum catalysts. They published their findings in Nano Letters.

The high price of platinum, which is used as an electrode catalyst, remains a big challenge to the commercialization of hydrogen fuel. Although nano-structured platinum catalysts require less platinum, they have poor oxygen reduction capability are are not sufficiently durable.

In the present study, Professor Cho EunAe’s team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have devised a platinum catalyst that costs 30 percent less but boasts 12 times higher performance.

The research team combined the platinum with nickel, then used various metallic elements to enhance the performance of their catalyst. They found that the addition of gallium modulated the intermediate binding energy of oxygen, leading to enhanced catalytic activity of the oxygen reduction reaction.

First author Dr. Lim JeongHoon of KAIST said their work demonstrates that gallium-added octahedral nanoparticles are a highly active and durable oxygen reduction reaction catalyst with practical fuel cell applications.

“Our study realized the two main goals: an affordable price and increased performance of fuel cells. We hope this will make a contribution to the market competitiveness of fuel cell electric vehicles,” said Cho.

The article can be found at: Lim et al. (2018) Ga–Doped Pt–Ni Octahedral Nanoparticles as a Highly Active and Durable Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction.


Source: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; Photo: Pixabay.
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