Navigation Links
Experiments reveal unexpected activity of fuel cell catalysts
Date:12/13/2007

UPTON, NY -- Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energys Brookhaven National Laboratory have unveiled important details about a class of catalysts that could help improve the performance of fuel cells. With the goal of producing clean hydrogen for fuel cell reactions in mind, the researchers determined why two next-generation catalysts including gold, cerium, titanium, and oxygen nanomaterials exhibit very high activity. Their results will be published online in the December 14, 2007, edition of the journal Science.

Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen without combustion to produce direct electrical power and water. They are attractive as a source of power for transportation applications because of their high energy efficiency, the potential for using a variety of fuel sources, and their zero emissions. However, a major problem facing this technology is that the hydrogen-rich materials feeding the reaction often contain carbon monoxide (CO), which is formed during hydrogen production. Within a fuel cell, CO poisons the expensive platinum-based catalysts that convert hydrogen into electricity, deteriorating their efficiency over time and requiring their replacement.

Fuel cell reactions are very demanding processes that require very pure hydrogen, said Brookhaven chemist Jose Rodriguez. You need to find some way to eliminate the impurities, and thats where the water-gas shift reaction comes into play.

The water-gas shift (WGS) reaction combines CO with water to produce additional hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. With the assistance of proper catalysts, this process can convert nearly 100 percent of the CO into carbon dioxide. Rodriguezs group, which includes researchers from Brookhavens chemistry department, the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), and the Central University of Venezuela, studied two next-generation WGS nanoscale catalysts: gold-cerium oxide and gold-titanium oxide.

These nanomaterials have recently been reported as very efficient catalysts for the WGS reaction, said Brookhaven chemist Jan Hrbek. This was a surprising finding because neither bulk gold nor bulk ceria and titania are active as catalysts.

To determine how these nanocatalysts work, the research team developed so-called inverse model catalysts. The WGS catalysts usually consist of gold nanoparticles dispersed on a ceria or titania surface a small amount of the expensive metal placed on the inexpensive oxide. But to get a better look at the surface interactions, the researchers placed ceria or titania nanoparticles on a pure gold surface.

For the first time, we established that although pure gold is inert for the WGS reaction, if you put a small amount of ceria or titanium on it, it becomes extremely active, Rodriguez said. So although these inverse catalysts are just models, they have catalytic activity comparable to, and sometimes better than, the real deal.

Using a technique called x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at Brookhavens National Synchrotron Light Source, as well as scanning tunneling microscopy and calculations, the researchers discovered that the catalysts oxides are the reason for their high activity.

The oxides have unique properties on the nanoscale and are able to break apart water molecules, which is the most difficult part of the WGS reaction, Hrbek said. Added Brookhaven physicist Ping Liu: After you dissociate the water, the reaction continues on to eliminate CO. But if you dont have nanosized oxide particles, none of this will work.

The researchers plan to continue their study of these catalysts at the NSLS and CFN in order to further explore the reaction mechanism and optimize its performance.


'/>"/>

Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. New Survey Reveals Many Adults With High Cholesterol Fail to Take Necessary Steps to Improve Their Condition
2. Actelion Announces Multiple Presentations on Tracleer(R) and the REVEAL Registry at CHEST 2007
3. New Data Reveal Ethnicity May Play Role in Weight Loss Decisions
4. New paper reveals nanoscale details of photolithography process
5. Stem Cell Agency Finally Reveals Institutions Involved in Conflict Problem
6. Dendreon Announces Publication of Phase 1 Study Highlighting Immunologic and Clinical Activity of Lapuleucel-T (Neuvenge(R)) in Advanced Breast Cancer Patients
7. ANX-514 Reduces Hypersensitivity Reactions Without Impacting Pharmacokinetics or Antitumor Activity in Preclinical Tests
8. Celator(R) Pharmaceuticals Study Shows CPX-571 Maintains Synergistic Ratio of Irinotecan and Cisplatin to Improve Anti-tumor Activity
9. Brostallicin Trial Data Demonstrates Encouraging Anti-tumor Activity in Patients With Chemotherapy-Resistant Cancers
10. Using catalysts to stamp nanopatterns without ink
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), ... it will open a state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big ... This announcement comes as Liz Scott , co-executive ... Cancer Moonshot Summit in Washington, D.C. ... a participant and advocate of pediatric cancer research and ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Global demand for ... percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market ... beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and ... diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain ... by increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") ... shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% ... diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered into ... holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the ... on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The ... coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once again ... of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 Awards ... Las Vegas . Winners are ... of the following categories: net square feet of paid exhibit ... 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of 50 ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):