RESEARCHERS NOW OPTIMIZING CHEAP, EASY-TO-MAKE ALTERNATIVE
Researchers from South Korea, Case Western Reserve University and University of North Texas have discovered an inexpensive and easily produced catalyst that performs better than platinum in oxygen-reduction reactions.
The finding, detailed in Nature’s Scientific Reports online today, is a step toward eliminating what industry regards as the largest obstacle to large-scale commercialization of fuel cell technology.
Fuel cells can be more efficient than internal combustion engines, silent, and at least one type produces zero greenhouse emissions at the tail pipe. Car and bus manufacturers as well as makers of residential and small-business-sized generators have been testing and developing different forms of fuel cells for more than a decade but the high cost and insufficiencies of platinum catalysts have been the Achilles heel.
“We made metal-free catalysts using an affordable and scalable process,” said Liming Dai, the Kent Hale Smith Professor of macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve and one of the report’s authors. “The catalysts are more stable than platinum catalysts and tolerate carbon monoxide poisoning and methanol crossover.”
And, in their initial tests, a cathode coated with one form of catalyst—graphene nanoparticles edged with iodine—proved more efficient in the oxygen reduction reaction, generating 33 percent more current than a commercial cathode coated with platinum generated.
The research was led by Jong-Beom Baek, director of the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy/Low-Dimensional Carbon Materials Center at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. Fellow authors include: In-Yup Jeon, Hyun-Jung Choi, Min Choi, Jeong-Min Seo, Sun-Min Jung, Min-Jung Kim and Neojung Park, from Ulsan; Sheng Zhang from Case Western Reserve; and Lipeng Zhang and Zhenhai Xia from North Texas.
Like a battery, a fuel cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy. It works by removing an electron from a fuel, usually hydrogen or methanol mixed with water, at the cell’s anode, or positive electrode, creating a current.
Hydrogen ions produced then pass through a membrane to the cathode, or negative electrode. Here, oxygen molecules from the air are split and reduced by the addition of electrons and combined with the hydrogen ions to form water and heat—the only byproducts.
A better, cheaper catalyst than scarce and costly platinum is required if hydrogen fuel cells and direct methanol fuel cells are to become realistic alternatives to fossil fuels, the authors say.
The technology to make alternative catalysts builds on a simple and cheap industrial process several of the researchers developed to make graphene sheets from graphite.
Inside a ball miller, which is a canister filled with steel balls, the researchers broke graphite down into single-layer graphene nanoparticles. While the canister turned, they injected chlorine, bromine or iodine gas to produce different catalysts.
In each case, gas molecules replaced carbon atoms along the zigzag edges of nanoplatelets created by milling. Not only were the edges then favorable to binding with oxygen molecules, but the bond strength between the two oxygen atoms weakened. The weaker the oxygen bonds became, the more efficiently the oxygen was reduced and converted to water at the cathode.
In testing, a cathode coated with iodine-edged nanoplatelets performed best.
The Latest Bing News on:
- Fabricating the future with a new environment friendly method of polymerizationon February 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm
The current use of metal catalysts to develop polymers leads ... The scientists have, for the first time, demonstrated metal free organocatalysis for this reaction at room temperature for vinyl ...
- Continuous synthesis of graphene sheets by spray pyrolysis and their use as catalysts for fuel cellson February 12, 2021 at 5:58 am
The Pt catalyst supported on GNS exhibited excellent durability for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The GNS, when used as a metal-free catalyst for ORR, showed performance even better than the ...
- 'Defective' carbon simplifies hydrogen peroxide productionon February 11, 2021 at 12:16 pm
Scientists introduce a new catalyst to reduce oxygen to widely ... Rice scientists treated metal-free carbon black, the inexpensive, powdered product of petroleum production, with oxygen plasma.
- Nanoscale engineering for sustainable catalysison February 9, 2021 at 4:01 pm
To make hydrogen fuel cells more affordable, catalysts with less Pt and beyond Pt such as precious-metal-free, carbon-based and single-atom catalysts have been widely explored to replace the ...
- Latest Onlineon February 8, 2021 at 10:13 am
Science Advances 27 Feb 2015: e1400129 Open Access CCBY-NC Carbon-based, metal-free catalysts showed excellent activity, durability and potential to replace Pt in acidic fuel cells. By Mady Hornig, ...
- Cerebelly Is First-Ever Children's Food Brand To Receive The Clean Label Project Purity Award, Confirming Its Rank As A Safe And Metal-Free Optionon February 5, 2021 at 3:30 pm
NEW YORK, Feb. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A congressional report released by the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Committee on Thursday, February 4, 2021 revealed that many of the ...
- Polymer-derived carbon as metal-free, 'green' alternative to catalysts and nanocarbonson February 4, 2021 at 11:57 am
Polymer-derived carbon as metal-free, 'green' alternative to catalysts and nanocarbons by Technische Universitat Darmstadt Credit: CC0 Public Domain ...
- Polymer-derived carbon as metal-free, 'green' alternative to catalysts and nanocarbonson February 4, 2021 at 8:28 am
(Nanowerk News) Catalysts are key materials in modern society, enabling selective conversion of raw materials into valuable products while reducing waste and saving energy. In case of industrially ...
- Polymer-derived carbon as metal-free, "green" alternative to catalysts and nano carbonson February 4, 2021 at 7:10 am
Catalysts are key materials in modern society, enabling selective conversion of raw materials into valuable products while reducing waste and saving energy. In case of industrially relevant ...
- Polymer-derived carbon as a metal-free, "green" alternative to established oxidation catalysts and nano carbonson February 4, 2021 at 2:14 am
Darmstadt, February 4, 2021. Catalysts are central to many industrial processes. However, the transition metals often used for this purpose are rare, their degradation is harmful to the ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- Performance of methane conversion solid catalyst is predicted by theoretical calculationon March 4, 2021 at 2:02 am
Japanese researchers have developed a simulation method to theoretically estimate the performance of heterogeneous catalyst by combining first-principles calculation (1) and kinetic calculation ...
- (Impact of COVID-19) Global Refinery Catalyst Market Analysis of Key Players and Research Forecast 2021-2026on March 4, 2021 at 1:56 am
Global Refinery Catalyst market 2021 provides a step-by-step and total international policy of market statistics from 2016 to 2021. The Refinery Catalyst report starts with the summary of industry ...
- Genesis Owusu: A catalyst for change in Canberraon March 3, 2021 at 3:52 pm
Genesis Owusu tackles the racism he's experienced while growing up in Australia in his debut album, “Smiling With No Teeth.” The Ghanaian-born musician shares his experience and tells host Marco ...
- Industrial Refining Catalyst Market Segmentation and Forecasts 2020 to 2027 By Ameco Researchon March 3, 2021 at 11:10 am
The Global Industrial Refining Catalyst market research report provides 360-degree information about the respective market with the primary focus on the market definition, drivers, opportunities, ...
- Make the Invisible Visible: Catalyst #BiasCorrect For International Women's Day 2021 Campaign Asks Challenging Questionson March 3, 2021 at 5:43 am
Catalyst is observing International Women's Day (IWD) 2021 by challenging companies to join its #BiasCorrect "Make the Invisible Visible" global campaign, providing virtual backgrounds that encourage ...
- Covering metal catalyst surfaces with thin two-dimensional oxide materials can enhance chemical reactionson March 2, 2021 at 7:10 am
Physically confined spaces can make for more efficient chemical reactions, according to recent studies led by scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. They ...
- FinTechs Set The Stage For Open Banking Adoption Catalyston March 2, 2021 at 5:53 am
This week's look at the latest in open banking and bank-FinTech collaboration finds finserv driving adoption and exploring new use cases for the framework.
- Covid – a Catalyst for Social Changeon March 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
While everyone is rushing to get vaccinated, or, alternatively, declaring that the vaccines are a government scheme against the people, we seem to be ignoring something very important: why the virus ...
- General Catalyst and ARCH's SPAC Revolution Healthcare Acquisition files for a $500 million IPOon March 1, 2021 at 3:44 pm
The article General Catalyst and ARCH's SPAC Revolution Healthcare Acquisition files for a $500 million IPO originally appeared on IPO investment manager Renaissance Capital's web site ...
- 'A catalyst for revitalization,' Riverfront Parks Now continues to push for public useon March 1, 2021 at 11:24 am
Renewed interest in downtown Jacksonville’s riverfront has made its way to the forefront of conversation, and several local organizations are pushing for specific goals when it comes to riverfront ...