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Cheaper hydrogen fuel cells could mean better green energy options-ScienceDaily

Empire researchers have developed hydrogen fuel cells that use iron instead of the rare and expensive platinum, enabling more use of this technology.

Hydrogen fuel cells use water vapor as the only by-product to convert hydrogen into electricity, making it an attractive green alternative to portable power supplies, especially for automobiles.

However, their widespread use is partially hampered by the cost of one of the key components. To facilitate the reaction that produces electricity, fuel cells rely on expensive and rare platinum catalysts.

Currently, a European team led by researchers at Imperial College London has shown that fuel cells can be operated at high power by creating catalysts using only iron, carbon and nitrogen (cheap and readily available materials). rice field.Those results are today Natural catalysis..

Professor Anthony Kuchernak, Principal Researcher, Department of Chemistry, Imperial University, said: For example, motor vehicles need to reduce their costs.

“Our cheaper catalyst design makes this possible, enabling the deployment of so many renewable energy systems that use hydrogen as fuel, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions and netting the world. It will lead you to the path to zero emissions. “

The team’s innovation was to produce a catalyst in which all iron was dispersed as a single atom in a conductive carbon matrix. Single-atom iron has different chemistries than bulk iron, where all atoms are clustered together to make them more reactive.

These properties mean that iron promotes the required reaction in fuel cells and acts as an excellent alternative to platinum. In laboratory tests, the team showed that single-atom iron catalysts have performance close to that of platinum-based catalysts in real fuel cell systems.

Not only to produce cheap catalysts created by the team, but also to other catalysts for other processes such as chemical reactions that use atmospheric oxygen as a reactant instead of expensive chemical oxidants and wastewater treatment. It can be applied. Use air to remove harmful pollutants.

Dr. Assad Memud, lead author of the Imperial Department of Chemistry, said: To prevent the formation of iron clusters during synthesis, we used a unique synthesis method called the metal exchange reaction. This process should be beneficial to other scientists seeking to prepare similar types of catalysts. “

The team wants to work with British fuel cell catalyst manufacturer Johnson Matthey to test the catalyst in the right system and scale up the new catalyst for use in commercial fuel cells. In the meantime, it works to improve the stability of the catalyst, so it is comparable to platinum in durability and performance.

Story source:

material Provided by Imperial College London.. Original written by Haley Dunning. Note: Content can be edited in style and length.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/04/220425121110.htm Cheaper hydrogen fuel cells could mean better green energy options-ScienceDaily

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