Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Brookhaven Lab Chemists Receive Patents for Fuel-Cell Catalysts

(From left) Brookhaven Lab chemists Kotaro Sasaki, Miomir Branko Vukmirovic, and Radoslav Adzic work on developing catalysts for fuel cells.
(From left) Brookhaven Lab chemists Kotaro Sasaki, Miomir Branko Vukmirovic, and Radoslav Adzic work on developing catalysts for fuel cells.

Abstract:
New catalysts reduce costly platinum use and increase its effectiveness in fuel cells

Brookhaven Lab Chemists Receive Patents for Fuel-Cell Catalysts

Upton, NY | Posted on May 21st, 2010

Chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have received three patents for developing catalysts to accelerate chemical reactions in fuel cells. The newly patented catalysts, as well as a method for making a particular type of catalyst with a thin layer of platinum, could greatly reduce the cost and increase the use of fuel cells in electric vehicles. The catalysts and the technique are available for licensing.

Platinum is the most efficient catalyst for fuel cells. However, the platinum-based catalysts are expensive, unstable, and have low durability. The newly patented catalysts have high activity and stability, while containing much less platinum than the amount used in current fuel cells, so their cost is reduced.

"Fuel cells are expected to become a major source of clean energy that can impact both transportation and stationary power sectors," said Radoslav Adzic, the principal researcher in all three patents. "They have several advantages for automotive applications and can be used extensively in electric cars if the technology can be made to work efficiently and economically. Developing these electrocatalysts is a big step in that direction."

Several types of renewable fuel - such as hydrogen, ethanol or methanol - may be used in fuel cells. A hydrogen fuel cell, for example, converts hydrogen and oxygen into water, and, in the process, produces electricity. Hydrogen is oxidized by separating into negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions with the help of a catalyst at the fuel cell's negative pole, the anode. Electrons then travel to the positive pole, the cathode, creating electricity with their movement. At the cathode, with the aid of a catalyst, oxygen gains electrons, resulting in oxygen reduction, and combines with hydrogen ions forming water, the only byproduct of a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell.

Two of the Brookhaven chemists' patents were awarded for catalysts that speed up oxygen reduction. One is composed of a thin layer of platinum on palladium nanoparticles, which is more efficient than current catalysts. The other includes metal oxides, such as niobium oxide and ruthenium oxide, with a thin layer of platinum. The patent also covers a unique method for depositing a thin layer of platinum on the metal-oxide catalysts.

Compared to the patented platinum-palladium catalyst, the metal oxides combined with platinum are more stable and cost-effective, although the catalytic efficiency is not as high. Thus, the patented catalysts are complementary and can be tailored for various applications.

The scientists also received a patent for adding gold clusters to platinum-based catalysts. In the reactions during the stop-and-go driving of an electric car, platinum dissolves, which reduces its efficiency as a catalyst. But the researchers have overcome this problem by adding a very small amount of gold to the platinum-based catalyst. With the addition of gold, the platinum was kept intact during an accelerated stability test, which mimicked the stop-and-go conditions of an electric car. The gold clusters protected the platinum from being oxidized, which stabilized the platinum, making possible improved platinum-based catalysts.

U.S. patent 7,691,780 B2 for the development of platinum-palladium catalysts, was issued to Brookhaven Lab's Adzic and Miomir Branko Vukmirovic, along with Junliang Zhang and Yibo Mo, formerly of Brookhaven. Adzic, Vukmirovic and Kotaro Sasaki of Brookhaven Lab received title to U.S. patent 7,704,918 for metal oxide-platinum catalysts and their unique method of making them. Adzic and Zhang received U.S. patent 7,704,919 for adding gold clusters to platinum-based electrocatalysts.

The Department of Energy's Office of Science and its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funded the research that led to these patented technologies. For information about licensing them, contact Kimberley Elcess at 631 344-4151, or

####

About Brookhaven National Laboratory
One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry, and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE's Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, for and on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities; and Battelle Memorial Institute, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization. Visit Brookhaven Lab's electronic newsroom for links, news archives, graphics, and more at www.bnl.gov/newsroom, or follow Brookhaven Lab on Twitter at twitter.com/BrookhavenLab

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
(631)344-2347

Copyright © Brookhaven National Laboratory

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 News Press

News and information

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Thin films

New optical sensor can determine if molecules are left or right 'handed' June 13th, 2018

Chemistry

Quantum Interference May Be Key to Smaller Insulators: Breakthrough could jumpstart further miniaturization of transistors June 6th, 2018

Density gradient ultracentrifugation for colloidal nanostructures separation and investigation June 5th, 2018

From Face Recognition to Phase Recognition: Neural Network Captures Atomic-Scale Rearrangements: Scientists use approach analogous to facial-recognition technology to track atomic-scale rearrangements relevant to phase changes, catalytic reactions, and more May 31st, 2018

Northwestern researchers predict materials to stabilize record-high capacity lithium-ion battery: Advancement could pave the way for less expensive, longer-lasting batteries for electric vehicles May 29th, 2018

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Possible Futures

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

JPK talks with Dr Frank Lafont, Director of the BioImaging Center Lille (BICeL) about the use of the NanoWizard® AFM together with fluorescence microscopy in the study of living cells June 19th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Announcements

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Nanobiotix Publishes Positive Phase 2/3 Data For Nanomedicine in Soft Tissue Cancer (Webcast June 22) June 22nd, 2018

Alzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealed: In brains affected by Alzheimer's, researchers identify chemically reduced iron species, with mineral forms including a magnetic iron oxide June 22nd, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory: A process similar to guitar tuning improves storage time of quantum memory May 24th, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds May 22nd, 2018

Leti Silicon Photonics Design Kit Available in Synopsis OptoDesigner Suite: Kit Contains Design Rules and Building Blocks for Multi-Project Wafers And Custom Runs on Leti’s Si310 Platform April 5th, 2018

NTU scientists create customizable, fabric-like power source for wearable electronics January 30th, 2018

Automotive/Transportation

Nickel ferrite promotes capacity and cycle stability of lithium-sulfur battery June 13th, 2018

Northwestern researchers predict materials to stabilize record-high capacity lithium-ion battery: Advancement could pave the way for less expensive, longer-lasting batteries for electric vehicles May 29th, 2018

Harvesting clean hydrogen fuel through artificial photosynthesis May 3rd, 2018

Research gives new ray of hope for solar fuel April 27th, 2018

Fuel Cells

Harvesting clean hydrogen fuel through artificial photosynthesis May 3rd, 2018

A new way to find better battery materials: Design principles could point to better electrolytes for next-generation lithium batteries March 29th, 2018

Rice sleuths find metal in 'metal-free' catalysts: Study of graphene catalysts finds trace of manganese, suggests better ultrathin fuel-cell components February 26th, 2018

Study boosts hope for cheaper fuel cells: Rice University researchers show how to optimize nanomaterials for fuel-cell cathodes January 6th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project