February 1, 2023

Cheaper Hydrogen Fuel Cell Invented – Enabling Better Green Energy Options

Now, a European team led by Imperial College London scientists has developed a driver using just nitrogen, carbon, and iron– products that are easily available and inexpensive– and revealed that it can be used to operate a fuel cell at high power. Their results are released today (April 25, 2022) in Nature Catalysis.
Lead researcher Professor Anthony Kucernak, from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial, said: “Currently, around 60% of the cost of a single fuel cell is the platinum for the catalyst. To make fuel cells a genuine feasible alternative to fossil-fuel-powered cars, for instance, we require to bring that cost down.
” Our more affordable catalyst style ought to make this a truth, and enable release of substantially more eco-friendly energy systems that use hydrogen as fuel, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions and putting the world on a path to net-zero emissions.”
The teams development was to produce a catalyst where all the iron was dispersed as single atoms within an electrically carrying out carbon matrix. Single-atom iron has various chemical homes than bulk iron, where all the atoms are clustered together, making it more reactive.
These homes mean the iron enhances the reactions required in the fuel cell, acting as a great replacement for platinum. In laboratory tests, the team revealed that a single-atom iron driver has performance approaching that of platinum-based catalysts in a real fuel cell system.
As producing a less expensive driver for fuel cells, the approach the group established to develop could be adapted for other drivers for other procedures, such as chemical reactions using atmospheric oxygen as a reactant instead of pricey chemical oxidants, and in the treatment of wastewater using air to get rid of damaging impurities.
Very first author Dr. Asad Mehmood, from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial, stated: “We have developed a new technique to make a series of single atom catalysts that provide a chance to enable a series of brand-new chemical and electrochemical processes. Specifically, we used a distinct synthetic technique, called transmetallation, to prevent forming iron clusters throughout synthesis. This process needs to be beneficial to other researchers seeking to prepare a comparable type of catalyst.”
The group collaborated with UK fuel cell catalyst producer Johnson Matthey to test the catalyst in appropriate systems and want to scale up their new driver so it can be utilized in industrial fuel cells. In the meantime, they are working to enhance the stability of the driver, so it matches platinum in sturdiness along with performance.
Recommendation: “High loading of single atomic iron websites in Fe– NC oxygen reduction catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells” 25 April 2022, Nature Catalysis.DOI: 10.1038/ s41929-022-00772-9.

The new fuel cell being checked in the laboratory. Credit: Imperial College London
Imperial researchers have actually developed a new hydrogen fuel cell that utilizes iron rather of uncommon and costly platinum, enabling greater use of the technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells transform hydrogen to electricity with simply water vapor as a byproduct, making them an attractive green option for portable power, especially for automobiles.
Nevertheless, the expenditure of one of the primary components has hampered its broad adoption. The fuel cells rely on a driver made from platinum, which is limited and pricey, to help the reaction that creates power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *