Navigation Links
New catalyst paves the path for ethanol-powered fuel cells
Date:1/26/2009

UPTON, NY A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Delaware and Yeshiva University, has developed a new catalyst that could make ethanol-powered fuel cells feasible. The highly efficient catalyst performs two crucial, and previously unreachable steps needed to oxidize ethanol and produce clean energy in fuel cell reactions. Their results are published online in the January 25, 2009 edition of Nature Materials.

Like batteries that never die, hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water and, as part of the process, produce electricity. However, efficient production, storage, and transport of hydrogen for fuel cell use is not easily achieved. As an alternative, researchers are studying the incorporation of hydrogen-rich compounds, for example, the use of liquid ethanol in a system called a direct ethanol fuel cell.

"Ethanol is one of the most ideal reactants for fuel cells," said Brookhaven chemist Radoslav Adzic. "It's easy to produce, renewable, nontoxic, relatively easy to transport, and it has a high energy density. In addition, with some alterations, we could reuse the infrastructure that's currently in place to store and distribute gasoline."

A major hurdle to the commercial use of direct ethanol fuel cells is the molecule's slow, inefficient oxidation, which breaks the compound into hydrogen ions and electrons that are needed to generate electricity. Specifically, scientists have been unable to find a catalyst capable of breaking the bonds between ethanol's carbon atoms.

But at Brookhaven, scientists have found a winner. Made of platinum and rhodium atoms on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles, the research team's electrocatalyst is capable of breaking carbon bonds at room temperature and efficiently oxidizing ethanol into carbon dioxide as the main reaction product. Other catalysts, by comparison, produce acetalhyde and acetic acid as the main products, which make them unsuitable for power generation.

"The ability to split the carbon-carbon bond and generate CO2 at room temperature is a completely new feature of catalysis," Adzic said. "There are no other catalysts that can achieve this at practical potentials."

Structural and electronic properties of the electrocatalyst were determined using powerful x-ray absorption techniques at Brookhaven's National Synchrotron Light Source, combined with data from transmission electron microscopy analyses at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials. Based on these studies and calculations, the researchers predict that the high activity of their ternary catalyst results from the synergy between all three constituents platinum, rhodium, and tin dioxide knowledge that could be applied to other alternative energy applications.

"These findings can open new possibilities of research not only for electrocatlysts and fuel cells but also for many other catalytic processes," Adzic said.

Next, the researchers will test the new catalyst in a real fuel cell in order to observe its unique characteristics first hand.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@bnl.gov
631-344-8191
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Using catalysts to stamp nanopatterns without ink
2. Experiments reveal unexpected activity of fuel cell catalysts
3. UCT Specialties (Formerly Petrarch) Announces the Release of Their New Product Guides for Silanes, Silicones, Platinum Catalyst and Glass Coatings
4. IDEXX Laboratories Announces First Customer Deliveries of Catalyst Dx(TM) Chemistry Analyzer and SNAPshot Dx(TM) Analyzer
5. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. Files Form S-3 Shelf Registration Statement
6. Controlling the size of nanoclusters: First step in making new catalysts
7. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners Reports Second Quarter 2008 Financial Results
8. NIST and partners identify tiny gold clusters as top-notch catalysts
9. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners, Inc. Announces a $4.5 Million Registered Direct Common Stock Offering
10. Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners to Present at the Rodman & Renshaw 10th Annual Global Investment Conference
11. PointCross Releases Catalyst for Building Business-Ready SharePoint Solutions in 1/10th the Time
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... biotechnology companies dedicated to collaboratively developing improved chemistry, manufacturing and control technologies ... portable online UHPLC, with robust, probe-based sampling. , Online liquid chromatography ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016   SurePure, Inc. (OTCQB: SURP) ... the Company has concluded an agreement with Tamarack Biotics ... 90-day period to acquire units of the Company,s patented ... 3.7 million.  Concurrently with the option, ... which Tamarack will seek regulatory approvals in ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... world leader in rapid infectious disease tests, introduced the Company,s newest product, the INSTI ... (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) Continue Reading ... ... , bioLytical was invited by the Clinton ... HIV Self Test to 350 pharmacy representatives in Nairobi and ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  GenomOncology today announced the appointment ... of Medical Affairs.  Dr. Coleman will oversee ... company,s proprietary knowledge-enabled platform. The GenomOncology software suite empowers molecular ... sequencing data and clinical decision support, from quality control through ... , , ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2016)... LONDON , Nov. 17, 2016 Global Market ... and Public Biobanks (Disease-Based Banks, Population-Based Banks and Academics) market ... Geographical analysis for Private Biobanks shows the highest Compounded Annual ... Asia-Pacific region during the analysis period 2014-2020. ... a CAGR of 9.95% followed by Europe ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ("xG" or ... critical wireless communications for use in challenging operating environments, ... 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference call to ... p.m. Eastern Time (details below). Key Recent ... $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink Communication Systems. ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, ... call to industry to share solutions for the Biometric ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP ... are departing the United States , ... and to defeat imposters. Logo - ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):