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, You said.
About Argonne National Laboratory:
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, visit www.anl.gov
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