Navigation Links
Novel nanowires boost fuel cell efficiency
Date:3/31/2011

New Haven, Conn.Fuel cells have been touted as a cleaner solution to tomorrow's energy needs, with potential applications in everything from cars to computers.

But one reason fuel cells aren't already more widespread is their lack of endurance. Over time, the catalysts used even in today's state-of-the-art fuels cells break down, inhibiting the chemical reaction that converts fuel into electricity. In addition, current technology relies on small particles coated with the catalyst; however, the particles' limited surface area means only a fraction of the catalyst is available at any given time.

Now a team of engineers at the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science has created a new fuel cell catalyst system using nanowires made of a novel material that boosts long-term performance by 2.4 times compared to today's technology. Their findings appear on the cover of the April issue of ACS Nano.

Yale engineers Jan Schroers and Andr Taylor have developed miniscule nanowires made of an innovative metal alloy known as a bulk metallic glass (BMG) that have high surface areas, thereby exposing more of the catalyst. They also maintain their activity longer than traditional fuel cell catalyst systems.

Current fuel cell technology uses carbon black, an inexpensive and electrically conductive carbon material, as a support for platinum particles. The carbon transports electricity, while the platinum is the catalyst that drives the production of electricity. The more platinum particles the fuel is exposed to, the more electricity is produced. Yet carbon black is porous, so the platinum inside the inner pores may not be exposed. Carbon black also tends to corrode over time.

"In order to produce more efficient fuel cells, you want to increase the active surface area of the catalyst, and you want your catalyst to last," Taylor said.

At 13 nanometers in scale (about 1/10,000 the width of a human hair), the BMG nanowires that Schroers and Taylor developed are about three times smaller than carbon black particles. The nanowires' long, thin shape gives them much more active surface area per mass compared to carbon black. In addition, rather than sticking platinum particles onto a support material, the Yale team incorporated the platinum into the nanowire alloy itself, ensuring that it continues to react with the fuel over time.

It's the nanowires' unique chemical composition that makes it possible to shape them into such small rods using a hot-press method, said Schroers, who has developed other BMG alloys that can also be blow molded into complicated shapes. The BMG nanowires also conduct electricity better than carbon black and carbon nanotubes, and are less expensive to process.

So far Taylor has tested their catalyst system for alcohol-based fuel cells (including those that use ethanol and methanol as fuel sources), but they say the system could be used in other types of fuel cells and could one day be used in portable electronic devices such as laptop computers and cell phones as well as in remote sensors.

"This is the introduction of a new class of materials that can be used as electrocatalysts," Taylor said. "It's a real step toward making fuel cells commercially viable and, ultimately, supplementing or replacing batteries in electronic devices."


'/>"/>

Contact: Suzanne Taylor Muzzin
suzanne.taylormuzzin@yale.edu
203-432-8555
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. John Grisham Joins Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation Board, Citing Novel Technologys Potential to Help Millions of Patients
2. Lixte Biotechnology Holdings Announces Filing of a New Patent Application for Cancer Therapy Based on Targeting a Biomarker by Novel Investigational Agents
3. UC Riverside researcher develops novel method to grow human embryonic stem cells
4. Pressure BioSciences, Inc. Releases Novel, PCT-dependent Sample Preparation Kit for Systems Biology Studies
5. CV Therapeutics Initiates Phase 1 Clinical Trial of CVT-3619, a Novel Potential Treatment for Cardiometabolic Diseases
6. Spherics, Inc. Announces Sale of Novel Proprietary Bioadhesive Polymers and Oral Drug Delivery System
7. Arisyn Therapeutics Inc. Acquires Highly Novel Portfolio of Therapeutic Small Molecules for Infectious Disease and Cancer
8. Morria Biopharmaceuticals Plc Announces Results From its Pre-Clinical Screening of Novel Anti-Inflammatory Compounds
9. Novel Mass Spectrometry-based Assay Reveals Degradation and Low Levels of Bioactive B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) in Patients with Heart Failure
10. Sensorin Raises Equity Financing to Launch Novel Industrial Sensing Venture
11. Trius Awarded $28 Million Contract to Develop Novel Antibiotics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Novel nanowires boost fuel cell efficiency
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... CNSDose is a genetically ... error process by finding the right antidepressant faster. CNSDose speeds recovery and ... through a personalized approach to treatment. , A peer-reviewed and published, ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 18, 2017 , ... Dr. Ralph Mobbs of ... Prince Of Wales Private Hospital. The procedure was performed on a 46-year-old male ... conservative treatments prior to undergoing surgery. , The AxioMed viscoelastic disc is a ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman ... former CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of ... position at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2017 ... ... management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and ... Chairman of the UDIs and Traceability for Medical Devices conference in Brussels, Belgium. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/6/2017)... LONDON , April 6, 2017 ... Control, RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & ... Energy Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear ... Healthcare, Educational, Other) Are you looking for ... Authentication sector? ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... -- The report "Video Surveillance Market by ... Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and Service (VSaaS, Installation ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market was valued at ... reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, at a CAGR ... considered for the study is 2016 and the forecast ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):