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Platinum Free Fuel Cell Developed by LANL Researchers

LANL ResearchersResearchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have developed a platinum free fuel cell that uses carbon, iron and cobalt on the cathode end of the PEM hydrogen fuel cell. With platinum currently priced at $1,800 per ounce this element is one of the major costs when producing fuel cells.

According to LANL, “The Los Alamos researchers developed non-precious-metal catalysts for the part of the fuel cell that reacts with oxygen. The catalysts – which use carbon (partially derived from polyaniline in a high-temperature process) and inexpensive iron and cobalt instead of platinum – yielded high power output, good efficiency, and promising longevity.

“The researchers found that fuel cells containing the carbon-iron-cobalt catalyst synthesized by Wu not only generated currents comparable to the output of precious-metal-catalyst fuel cells, but held up favorably when cycled on and off—a condition that can damage inferior catalysts relatively quickly … the carbon-iron-cobalt catalyst fuel cells effectively completed the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into water, rather than producing large amounts of undesirable hydrogen peroxide.”

Now, I’ve been talking about platinum free fuel cells for years as a means to speeding up the commercialization of hydrogen cars, bringing down costs of the entire vehicle. In fact, just last week, I had talked about scientists using molybdenum to replace platinum.

On other posts through the years I’ve talked about researchers who have developed hydrogen fuel cells that replace platinum with nickel and cobalt, titanium dioxide nanocrystals and doped carbon nanotubes. What is exciting to me is that researchers are attacking the problem of creating cheaper fuel cells on multiple levels using multiple materials to replace our dependence upon platinum for power.

If just a small amount of this research reaches commercialization it will mean fuel cells for everybody in the not too distant future.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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5 comments

  1. We are well on the way to a hydrogen economy!

  2. danish hydrogen pill amminex company hydrogen storage starts producing cartridge for ammonia storage, and retreval. september 2011. totally inert, at room temperature very safe can be posted to node for hydrogen cars or home usage. allowing the archilles heal to be ammended hydrogen, storage and use , by laymen.and mapping, its needs and put hydrogen, where ever when ever, and more,of where ever needed.plus the commercial use of platium replacement 100% totally, pem cells, will make hydrogen grow as needed when needed for cheap and resource that grows with markets.

  3. liquid hydrogen from solid chemical storeage tweeking seems possible, thus a liquid hydrogen economy, to a garage near you, rent a storage or home electric fill up, also compatible electric 2 to 10 minit refill batteries ion lithium and others, seems theres two ways,to do the job ,and to and, and hydrogen the third plus air cars and thus lots of machines.combined and solid pills, seems all our gagets can run from them.on them.solid storage too.

  4. redox gell batteries and redox flow also a way out hydrogen furnaces, algea, loop for carbon controlled cycle steel, plus others. steel 5 times strong, rnr. and full spetrum mis match alloys and such, imagine with these carbon materials made from carbon dioxide, capture , dr angela belcher MIT, university,usamaterials engineer, getting funds to put on carbon stacks and the like. use the world is a total solution, got to love that hydrogen.great news. good on you, im wondering whether storage at stations is currently up to date and can… store our medium, mediums.

  5. Hydrogen distance to replacement of the anoid cathoid,before replacement distance, thus the economy of scale for pem cells operations are thus is very important,50,000 plus for cars,km or miles. and hydrogen pill Denmark allows storage of hydrogen at scale? OR SCALE UP,DEVICES.

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