New research shows that graphene made in a specific way can be used to make more durable hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. Scientists produce graphene through a special and scalable technology and use it to develop hydrogen fuel cell catalysts. The hydrogen fuel cell converts chemical energy into electrical energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen with a catalyst. Since water is the only product produced by the reaction, they provide an efficient and environmentally friendly power source. Platinum is the most widely used catalyst in these fuel cells, but its high cost is a major problem in the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cells. To solve this problem, commercial catalysts usually decorate tiny nanoparticles of platinum on a cheaper carbon support. However, the poor durability of the material greatly reduces the service life of current fuel cells.
Some Defects of Graphene Materials
Previous studies have shown that graphene is an ideal support material for fuel cells due to its corrosion resistance, high surface area and high conductivity. However, the graphene used in most experiments so far contains many defects, which means that the predicted resistance has not yet achieved the expected improvement. The technology described in the study produces high-quality graphene decorated with platinum nanoparticles in a one-pot synthesis. The process can be scaled up for production and open graphene catalysts for a wide range of energy applications.
Professor Dan Brett, professor of electrochemical engineering at UCL, said: “Meeting global energy demand without destroying the environment is one of the major challenges facing modern times. Hydrogen fuel cells can provide cleaner energy and have been used in some cars as gasoline or An alternative to diesel. However, a major obstacle to the widespread commercialization of catalysts is that the catalysts can withstand the extensive cycles required for use in energy applications.
The researchers confirmed the durability of the graphene catalyst based on a test recommended by the US Department of Energy, the accelerated stress test. Accelerated stress testing deliberately quickly stresses the catalyst over multiple cycles in a short period of time, allowing scientists to evaluate the stability of new materials without having to use them in operating fuel cells for months or years. Through these tests, scientists have shown that, compared with commercial catalysts, the activity loss of newly developed graphene catalysts during the same test period is about 30% lower.
The Future of the Magical Material Graphene
Jin Ming Angel, a PhD student from UCL, said: "DoE sets the test and goal of fuel cell durability, an accelerated pressure test to simulate normal operating conditions, and a high-pressure test to simulate the start and shutdown of the fuel cell. Graphite. Most studies in the ene space only use one of the recommended tests for evaluation. However, due to the high-quality graphene in our materials, we have achieved high durability in both tests and long-term tests. The commercialization of the future is very important. We look forward to incorporating our new catalyst into commercial technology and realizing the advantages of a longer-life fuel cell.
Dr. Patrick Cullen, Lecturer in Renewable Energy at Queen Mary University of London, said: "Over the years, there has been a lot of hype around graphene and a large number of promising applications. However, the research community is still waiting for its full potential to be realized, which led to the proposal surrounding this proposal. Some negative emotions of the "magic material". We hope to restore confidence in graphene and show that this material has great potential for improving technology.
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