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:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... largest group of funded early-stage tech companies. “Grit” author Angela Duckworth and her ... joining the ic@3401 community is Cooley, an international law firm with decades of ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The new and improved Oakton® pocket testers, from Cole-Parmer, stand ... with a new cap design that is versatile, functional and leakproof. They are ideal ... test water quality. , The Oakton pocket testers have many user-friendly and functional features. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , Sept. 19, 2017 ValGenesis Inc., ... (VLMS) is pleased to announce the strategic partnership with ... provide clients with validation services using the latest technology ... VTI will provide clients with efficient and cost-effective validation ... marketing partner for the ValGenesis VLMS system. ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Molecular Devices, LLC, a leader in protein ... the CloneSelect™ Single-Cell Printer™ in North America. This novel system utilizes sophisticated ... documentation of monoclonality for use in cell line development. , Clonal cell ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... PUNE, India , March 23, 2017 The report ... Equipment, Touchless Biometric), Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... growing at a CAGR of 29.63% between 2017 and 2022. ... ... Logo ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 Optimove , provider of ... such as 1-800-Flowers and AdoreMe, today announced two ... Replenishment. Using Optimove,s machine learning algorithms, these features ... replenishment recommendations to their customers based not just ... customer intent drawn from a complex web of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):