A venture capital company, the Verge Fund out of Albuquerque is placing its bets on iron and cobalt to replace platinum as the catalyst used in fuel cells. The venture capital firm formed a company called Pajarito Powder LLC to manufacture and market the new platinum-free fuel cells.
The price of platinum continues to skyrocket, slightly outpacing gold, and recently the price is around $100 to $150 a gram. So, it is easy to see why scientists are researchers have been trying to find a less costly replacement that will make fuel cells more commercially viable.
The ABQ Journal talks about the partners involved in creating the technology for this project, “Barr Halevi, a UNM scientist who helped develop the new catalyst and then joined Pajarito as chief technology officer, said the combination of UNM, Michigan State and LANL technologies represent a ‘game changer’ in the fuel cell industry.”
In April 2011, I had talked about LANL inventing a fuel cell that used iron and cobalt as catalysts. This is just one way government and industry combine forces to produce technology for the common good. Cheap fuel cells flooding the marketplace mean that consumers will be able to afford clean, green technology on everything from cell phones, cars and home heating and cooling. If this game changer is for real, the next couple of years are going to be mighty exciting. And that’s no malarkey.