Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Brown Chemists Create More Efficient Palladium Fuel Cell Catalysts

A platinum alternative
 Brown researchers have found a way to create a larger active surface area with palladium nanoparticles to catalyze energy-producing reactions in a fuel cell.
A platinum alternative Brown researchers have found a way to create a larger active surface area with palladium nanoparticles to catalyze energy-producing reactions in a fuel cell.

Abstract:
Two Brown University chemists have overcome a challenge to fuel cell reactions using palladium catalysts. The scientists produced palladium nanoparticles with about 40 percent greater active surface area than commercially available palladium particles, and the nanoparticles remain intact four times longer. Results appear in the online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Brown Chemists Create More Efficient Palladium Fuel Cell Catalysts

Providence, RI | Posted on March 31st, 2009

Even small devices need power, and much of that juice comes from fuel cells. As these devices become even smaller, the rush is on to find more efficient ways to power them.

In the last several years, scientists have discovered that palladium, a metal, is a strong candidate for providing that initial boost that helps fuel cells go. Palladium is far cheaper than another popular fuel cell catalyst, platinum, and it's more abundant.

But researchers have wrestled with creating palladium nanoparticles with enough active surface area to make catalysis efficient in fuel cells while preventing particles from clumping together during the chemical processes that convert a fuel source to electricity. Two Brown University chemists have found a way to overcome those challenges.

The scientists report in the online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society that they have produced palladium nanoparticles with about 40 percent greater surface area than commercially available palladium particles. The Brown catalysts also remain intact four times longer than what's currently available.

"This approach is very novel. It works," said Vismadeb Mazumder, a graduate student who joined chemistry professor Shouheng Sun on the paper. "It's two times as active, meaning you need half the energy to catalyze. And it's four times as stable."

Mazumder and Sun created palladium nanoparticles 4.5 nanometers in size. They attached the nanoparticles to a carbon platform at the anode end of a direct formic acid fuel cell. The researchers then did something new: They used weak binding amino ligands to keep the palladium nanoparticles separate and at the same size as they're attached to the carbon platform. By keeping the particles separate and uniform in size, they increased the available surface area on the platform and raised the efficiency of the fuel cell reaction.

"It just works better," Sun said.

What's also special about the ligands is that they can be "washed" from the carbon platform without jeopardizing the integrity of the separated palladium nanoparticles. This is an important step, Mazumder emphasized, because previous attempts to remove binding ingredients have caused the particles to lose their rigid sizes and clump together, which gums up the reaction.

The Brown team said in experiments lasting 12 hours, their catalysts lost 16 percent of its surface area, compared to a 64-percent loss in surface area in commercial catalysts.

"We managed to ebb the decay of our catalyst by our approach," said Mazumder, who is in his second year in Sun's lab. "We made high-quality palladium nanoparticles, put them efficiently on a support, then removed them from the stabilizers efficiently without distorting catalyst quality."

The Brown scientists now are looking at various palladium-based catalysts with enhanced activity and stability for future fuel cell applications.

"We want to make it cheaper with analogous activity," Mazumder said.

The research was funded by the Division of Materials Research of the National Science Foundation and a Brown seed fund.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Relations
Brown University / Box R
38 Brown Street
Providence, RI 02912
401-863-2476

Copyright © Brown University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Nanoscale Materials Lab

Related News Press

Announcements

Nanotech could rid cattle of ticks, with less collateral damage September 1st, 2015

Scientists 'squeeze' light one particle at a time: A team of scientists have measured a bizarre effect in quantum physics, in which individual particles of light are said to have been 'squeezed' -- an achievement which at least one textbook had written off as hopeless September 1st, 2015

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets August 31st, 2015

New material science research may advance tech tools August 31st, 2015

Energy

Artificial leaf harnesses sunlight for efficient fuel production August 30th, 2015

Nanocatalysts improve processes for the petrochemical industry August 28th, 2015

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Update On Hospital Project, PCAOB Audit, and New Heat Shield™ Line August 24th, 2015

Fuel Cells

Laser-burned graphene gains metallic powers: Rice University scientists find possible replacement for platinum as catalyst August 20th, 2015

New spectroscopy technique provides unprecedented insights about the reactions powering fuel cells Nanotech-enabled chip developed at UCLA can analyze chemical reactions more accurately than large machines August 12th, 2015

Pouring fire on fuels at the nanoscale August 9th, 2015

Ultra-thin hollow nanocages could reduce platinum use in fuel cell electrodes July 24th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic