The fuel cell gets a new type of catalyst, which can increase the electrode reaction rate by 10 times

by:CTECHi     2021-07-30

Lithium Grid News: Fuel cell is an environmentally friendly power generation system that uses hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as oxidant to directly generate electricity through electrochemical reactions. There are many types of them, with different operating temperatures and electrolyte materials. Among them, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) using ceramic electrolytes are receiving more and more attention. Because it can work at a high temperature of about 700 degrees Celsius, it provides the highest efficiency among various fuel cells, and it can also produce hydrogen through steam decomposition.

In order to commercialize this technology, it is necessary to further improve the performance of the battery, and new high-temperature catalyst materials are also highly anticipated. Platinum (Pt)-based catalysts have shown excellent performance in fuel cell electrode reactions. In particular, monoatomic platinum catalysts have been actively studied due to their unique functions. However, at high temperatures, platinum atoms are unstable and tend to agglomerate. Therefore, monoatomic platinum catalysts are only used in low-temperature fuel cells.

In this context, a research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has developed a method that requires only a small amount of platinum to greatly improve performance, and can be used in A catalyst that operates stably at high temperatures. The research success has recently been published in the well-known scientific journal 'Energy u0026 Environmental Science' (Energy u0026 Environmental Science).

In their research, the entire platinum atoms are uniformly distributed, and they can work alone without agglomeration even at high temperatures. Experiments show that this method can increase the electrode reaction rate by more than 10 times. It can also work at temperatures as high as 700 degrees Celsius for more than 500 hours and increase power generation and hydrogen production performance by 3-4 times.

The researchers said that the technology is expected to accelerate the commercialization of the next generation of environmentally friendly fuel cells-solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). During the manufacturing process, a solution containing platinum and cerium ions is injected into the electrode of the SOFC, and a catalyst is synthesized when the fuel cell is operating at high temperatures. Since the electrode can be easily injected without any special equipment, the newly developed catalyst can be easily applied to the existing fuel cell manufacturing process.

Dr. Kyung-Joong Yoon of KIST said, “The catalyst developed in this research can be applied to various solid oxide fuel cells and high-temperature electrochemical devices using a simple, easy-to-use, low-cost process, so it is expected to accelerate The development of next-generation environmentally friendly power generation and energy storage devices. Based on single-atom catalysts that can operate stably even at temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius, their application fields will be greatly expanded, including high-temperature thermochemical reactions and high-temperature electrochemical reactions.'

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