INRS researchers increase performance their iron-based catalysts

INRS researchers increase performance of their iron-based catalysts

5:03 PM, 12th August 2011
INRS researchers increase performance of their iron-based catalysts


QUEBEC, CANADA: Having pioneered the development of a first molecular catalyst based on iron, which showed good activity in fuel cell, researchers at the INRS have achieved a second milestone. They produced a new catalyst molecular iron-based even more active, capable of providing a high electrical power in fuel cells suitable for transport. Previously, only platinum-based catalysts it possible to obtain similar results.

The results of this new research from the team of Professor Jean-Pol Dodelet were published in Nature Communications. The fruit of this work makes it possible to consider the use of iron-based catalysts to replace platinum used today for the electrochemical reduction of oxygen, one of two reactions essential to activate the electric power generator that is the fuel cell. Platinum is rare and very expensive, while the iron is not a problem of cost and supply, being the second most abundant metal on earth.

“With this breakthrough, we are approaching the day when many people can drive in electric-hybrid electric vehicle, that is to say, battery and fuel cell, which will have the opportunity to free ourselves completely from our current dependence on oil to run the engines of our cars,” said Professor Dodelet.

Working in Telecommunications Energy Materials Centre located in Varennes, scientists at the INRS currently working to improve the long-term stability (at least 5000 hours) of these new catalysts. “The next step is obviously the most important because it would lead automatically to a product of high commercial value not only for car manufacturers, but also for industry which uses electric power or generators that manufacture components,” said Dodelet.

© National Institute For Scientific Research (INRS) News




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