Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Graphene-based Catalyst Shows Promise for Fuel Cells

The graphene-based catalyst Fe-N-rGO has a much higher oxygen reduction reaction catalytic activity than those based on carbon black or oxidized carbon black.
The graphene-based catalyst Fe-N-rGO has a much higher oxygen reduction reaction catalytic activity than those based on carbon black or oxidized carbon black.

Abstract:
MIT scientists, doing part of their work on beamline X11 at the National Synchrotron Light Source, have made a promising graphene-based catalyst to improve fuel cells.

Graphene-based Catalyst Shows Promise for Fuel Cells

Upton, NY | Posted on January 3rd, 2012

Fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water, making electricity in the process. They are a source of quiet, efficient and clean energy, with the potential to replace combustion-based technologies in transportation and power applications. Starting in the 1960s, the U.S. put alkaline fuel cells on board spacecraft to produce electricity and water. Promising fuel-cell technologies of today include polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells, also known as proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

PEMFCs have the highest energy density of all fuel-cell types. They also have a relatively low operating temperature (ranging from 60-80 degrees Celsius), which means they warm up quickly - and begin generating electricity. That makes PEMFCs especially appealing for use in vehicles and in portable- and backup-power applications. Because they typically use platinum as a catalyst, however, the high cost of PEMFCs inhibits commercial development. To bring down the cost, research is focused on developing a non-precious-metal catalyst made of iron, nitrogen and carbon (Fe-N-C).

The team from MIT - Hye Ryung Byon, Jin Suntivich, and Yang Shao-Horn - prepared a graphene-based Fe-N-C catalyst (graphene is a monolayer of carbon) with high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity, plus stability in acid. The method involves heat treatment of a mixture of Fe salt, graphitic carbon nitride and chemically reduced graphene (rGO).

The graphene-based catalyst exhibits reduction activity approaching those of the state-of-the-art, non-noble-metal catalysts reported to date, which highlights the opportunities of using the unusual surface chemistry of rGO to create active Fe-N sites and develop an improved catalyst.

Our approach is uniquely different from other groups," said MIT's Yang Shao-Horn, who is the Gail E. Kendall Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the university. "We start from molecular building blocks and precisely control the surface chemistry of graphene as we build the catalyst."

The researchers examined the surface chemical composition of Fe-N-rGO by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and studied the atomic coordination of Fe by extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS). XPS and EXAFS of the Fe-N-rGO sample provided evidence for the incorporation of Fe ion and N into the rGO upon annealing.

Characterizing the Fe-N functionalization is experimentally very difficult, explained Shao-Horn, and x-ray absorption is one of the few techniques that can accomplish this task. "We use the X11 beamline at NSLS, where we have excellent support," she added. "We are extremely fortunate to have this collaboration."

According to Shao-Horn, ongoing work includes examination of Fe-N-rGo's performance and lifetime in a more realistic fuel-cell configuration.

####

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 State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mona S. Rowe

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

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Graphene/ Graphite

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Gas gives laser-induced graphene super properties: Rice University study shows inexpensive material can be superhydrophilic or superhydrophobic May 15th, 2017

Laboratories

NRELís Advanced Atomic Layer Deposition Enables Lithium-Ion Battery Technology: May 10th, 2017

Discovery of new transparent thin film material could improve electronics and solar cells: Conductivity is highest-ever for thin film oxide semiconductor material May 6th, 2017

Sandia develops math techniques to improve computational efficiency in quantum chemistry May 5th, 2017

Scientists Set Record Resolution for Drawing at the One-Nanometer Length Scale: An electron microscope-based lithography system for patterning materials at sizes as small as a single nanometer could be used to create and study materials with new properties May 1st, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Researchers find new way to control light with electric fields May 25th, 2017

Announcements

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

New metamaterial-enhanced MRI technique tested on humans May 26th, 2017

Controlling 3-D behavior of biological cells using laser holographic techniques May 26th, 2017

Unveiling the quantum necklace: Researchers simulate quantum necklace-like structures in superfluids May 26th, 2017

Fuel Cells

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Scientists boost catalytic activity for key chemical reaction in fuel cells: New platinum-based catalysts with tensile surface strain could improve fuel cell efficiency December 19th, 2016

Research partnerships

Ag/ZnO-Nanorods Schottky diodes based UV-PDs are fabricated and tested May 26th, 2017

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

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