Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > A protecting umbrella against oxygen: Toward fuel cells built from renewable and abundant components - Scientists from Bochum und Mülheim report in NATURE Chemistry

Redox hydrogel works like a protective umbrella against oxygen.

© RESOLV
Redox hydrogel works like a protective umbrella against oxygen.

© RESOLV

Abstract:
In the development of fuel cells the effort of generations of scientist and engineers have led to efficient and stable catalysts based on noble metals. These catalysts have reached the required threshold in terms of performance for applications such as electric cars. However, the high costs of the scarce noble metals render their widespread application economically less viable. In a paper published this week in the journal Nature Chemistry, researchers from the Center for Electrochemical Sciences - CES at the Ruhr-University Bochum and from the Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr report a novel concept to work with efficient and possibly cheaper catalysts. A kind of buffer protects the catalysts against the hostile conditions encountered in fuel cells, which have been to date dismissed utilization. The scientists report in the current issue of NATURE Chemistry.

A protecting umbrella against oxygen: Toward fuel cells built from renewable and abundant components - Scientists from Bochum und Mülheim report in NATURE Chemistry

Bochum, Germany | Posted on August 4th, 2014

Hydrogenases, an alternative to platinum?

Bio-catalysts for hydrogen oxidation - so called hydrogenases - are also part of nature. They developed just by using elements available to living organisms, that means without any noble metals. Complex hydrogenases evolved based solely on abundant elements such as nickel and iron. The most efficient hydrogenases reach the turnover rate of platinum and the supply of the elements they consist of is virtually unlimited. "For this reason Hydrogenases are potentially interesting alternatives to noble metals", says Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann (Professorship for analytical chemistry at the RUB). Though hydrogenases are not able to work while being under the constraints encountered in a fuel cell. Traces of oxygen and extreme electrical potentials cause deactivation processes.

Redox hydrogel, a shield for efficient but sensitive catalysts

The team in Bochum and Mülheim focused nevertheless on a new strategy to accommodate sensitive catalyst to the working conditions of standard fuel cells. The key idea is to shield the catalyst in a protective matrix with properties specifically designed to prevent the deactivation processes. Instead of contacting the hydrogenase directly to the electrode, an immobilization in a redox hydrogel shall protect the construct. It is designed to serve both as a redox buffer and an oxygen scavenger. Hence, within the hydrogel film, neither high potential, nor oxygen affects the bio-catalyst. Under working conditions the hydrogel-modified fuel cell is able to convert chemical energy from hydrogen into electrical energy over several weeks, while in absence of the hydrogel, the hydrogenase is deactivated within seconds.

A major step toward a novel fuel cell redesign

"The hydrogel concept opens the possibility to integrate a variety of other sensitive biological or artificial catalyst for which the intrinsic stability cannot be further increased", says Prof. Wolfgang Lubitz, Director at the MPI CEC. "This is a major step toward a novel fuel cell redesign, which may reposition them at the forefront in the race toward global sustainable energy industry."

Funding

The project was funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) as part of the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV - Ruhr explores solvation (EXC 1069).

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Wolfgang Schuhmann

49-234-322-6200

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schuhmann, Lehrstuhl für Analytische Chemie der Ruhr-Universität, 44780 Bochum, Tel. 0234/32-26200
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/solvation/

Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Wolfgang Lubitz, Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Energiekonversion in Mülheim an der Ruhr, 0208/306-3614
http://www.cec.mpg.de

Copyright © Ruhr-University Bochum

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

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Chemistry

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

The Hydrogen-Fuel cell will revolutionize the economy of the world: New non-platinum and nanosized catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell June 29th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

NIST ‘How-To’ Website Documents Procedures for Nano-EHS Research and Testing July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

Proposed TSCA Nanomaterial Rule ‘Premature’, Says Former EPA Toxicologist July 1st, 2015

Discoveries

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

Ultra-stable JILA microscopy technique tracks tiny objects for hours July 1st, 2015

Emergence of a 'devil's staircase' in a spin-valve system July 1st, 2015

Measurement of Tiny Amounts of Heavy Metals in Baby Food Samples July 1st, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

Proposed TSCA Nanomaterial Rule ‘Premature’, Says Former EPA Toxicologist July 1st, 2015

NEI Announces the Issuance of Multiple Patents on Self-Healing & Superhydrophobic Coatings June 30th, 2015

BASF and Fraunhofer IPMS-CNT jointly develop electronic materials June 30th, 2015

Green Chemistry Methods Used in Iran to Produce Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles June 27th, 2015

Announcements

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Influential Interfaces Lead to Advances in Organic Spintronics July 1st, 2015

Emergence of a 'devil's staircase' in a spin-valve system July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Measurement of Tiny Amounts of Heavy Metals in Baby Food Samples July 1st, 2015

Automotive/Transportation

June 29th, 2015

Buckle up for fast ionic conduction June 16th, 2015

A protective shield for sensitive catalysts: Hydrogels block harmful oxygen June 15th, 2015

Slip sliding away: Graphene and diamonds prove a slippery combination June 10th, 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