Ill (May 26, 2005) — Argonne National Laboratory
will receive $3 million over three years for basic
science studies that may lead to improved catalysts
for hydrogen fuel cells.
The funding, from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Basic
Energy Sciences , will be used to study the molecular basis of catalysis,
with a particular interest in the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells.
“We are looking to understand the behavior of oxygen in the low-temperature fuel
cell cathodes,” said Hoydoo You, leader of the group project. “The project builds
on Argonne's scientific strengths, bringing collaboration between physicists
and chemists, between theorists and experimentalists.”
The high-intensity X-rays from the Advanced
Photon Source and nanoscale science at the Center
for Nanoscale Materials are key enabling resources. The project includes
researchers from Argonne's Materials Science , Chemistry and Chemical
Engineering divisions as well as researchers from Kent
State University and the University
of Minnesota .
The fundamental research is expected eventually to lead to longer-lasting and
more efficient catalysts, You said. “Currently, one of the best fuel cell catalysts
is a platinum alloy, but platinum is both rare and expensive. With a full understanding
of how the oxygen reduction reaction occurs on this catalyst, we may be able
to develop new catalysts with little or no platinum.”
Finding a substitute for the platinum in the catalyst
should improve the development process for new catalysts
and help lead to the long-term goal of securing a
clean, abundant supply of energy for the future,
The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne
National Laboratory conducts basic and applied scientific
research across a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging
from high-energy physics to climatology and biotechnology.
Since 1990, Argonne has worked with more than 600
companies and numerous federal agencies and other
organizations to help advance America's scientific
leadership and prepare the nation for the future.
Argonne is operated by the University
of Chicago for the U.S.
Department of Energy 's Office
of Science .
For more information , please contact Catherine
Foster (630/252-5580 or firstname.lastname@example.org )