Brown University Picks Cobalt & Graphene to Replace Platinum in Fuel Cells

Shouheng SunYesterday I was talking about how a venture capitalist was betting on iron and cobalt to replace platinum in fuel cells. Well, today, there is a new wager on the table.

Scientists are Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island are laying their cards on the table, saying cobalt and graphene are a better choice to replace platinum as the primary fuel cell catalyst.

According to Brown University, “There’s a new contender in the race to find an inexpensive alternative to platinum catalysts for use in hydrogen fuel cells.

“Brown University chemist Shouheng Sun (pictured above) and his students have developed a new material — a graphene sheet covered by cobalt and cobalt-oxide nanoparticles — that can catalyze the oxygen reduction reaction nearly as well as platinum does and is substantially more durable.”

The advantages of cobalt are that it is abundant to find around the world and cheap. The advantages of graphene are that scientists can assemble it honeycomb style in layers one atom thick so that it is small, durable, strong, conducts electricity well and is well served as a catalyst.

Replacing platinum in fuel cells with cobalt and graphene may not be the Holy Grail of cheap energy production, but it takes us one step closer to everyday use of fuel cells throughout our lives. And if enough of these steps are taken over the next couple of years, when we look back it will seem like we’ve traveled miles.

3 Responses to “Brown University Picks Cobalt & Graphene to Replace Platinum in Fuel Cells”

  1. now what is needed is hydrogen stations infastructure to cost only 100,000 dollars not a million and liquid carriers hydrogenol and or liquid carrier beads, for existing structures , and dr sorells hydrogen tile nsw university sydney australia.or of fracture gass america, to hydrogen processes,, dr sorells excces hydrogen to methanol power stations and zeolite capture to materials carbon dioxide also a process for any excess gasses,other than carbon at 90% ability, as well as, market forces, cars from 50,000, sale to 20,000 if cars at this price are payed then a hundred thousen dollars makes good market sense pressures,,each station,dr belchers capture to materials also makes sense,and fuel from algea to..a lot to be captured processes,, makes dollar sense.

  2. “now what is needed is hydrogen stations infastructure to cost only 100,000 dollars not a million”

    depends how big the station is.

    If the station can handle 300 fills a day, $1,000,000 is extremely reasonable.

  3. H2 Stations of Services

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