A new study by the University of Pennsylvania (Penn University), led by Professor Christopher Murray and graduate student Jennifer Lee, shows how chemical energy storage can be made more stable, efficient and cost-effective. These points have so far been regarded as the biggest hurdles to the widespread use of the technology.
The novelty of the current study is based on a newly designed catalyst with platinum and cobalt layers, which the researchers placed in the cathode of the fuel cell. For the improved design, the researchers used tailor-made nanomaterials, whose common metal components were supplemented with cobalt and platinum. The new model showed improvements in the longevity and efficiency of the cathode catalyst compared with predecessor models. The high-resolution microscopic imaging recently available on the Penn University campus was of central importance for this research.
In the next step, the new design will be compared and tested in fuel cell assemblies with other currently available models. Professor Murray commented: “Thinking about a world where we’ve displaced a lot of the traditional fossil fuel-based inputs, if we can figure out this interconversion of electrical and chemical energy, that will address a couple of very important problems simultaneously”
Source: The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. | www.thedp.com
Image: The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc./Ananya Chandra | www.thedp.com
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