Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Noble Way to Low-Cost Fuel Cells, Halogenated Graphene May Replace Expensive Platinum

07.06.2013
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Case Western Reserve University & University of North Texas have paved a new way for affordable commercialization of fuel cells with efficient metal-free electrocatalysts using edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets.

Fuel cell technology has come a long way since the early days in the Apollo space program. Certainly the idea of running a car on pure hydrogen is an exciting prospect as the only emissions will be pure water.


Hologenated graphene
Copyright : UNIST

But how much will you be willing to pay for this car? Current fuel cell technologies, need platinum (Pt) catalysts which are costly and insufficient for industry demand.

Beside the high cost of platinum, another major drawback for commercialization of fuel cell technology is the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at cathode. Although, Pt and its alloys have been considered to be the most reliable cathodic ORR electrocatalysts in fuel cells, it also suffers from methanol crossover/carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning effects and poor long-term operation stability.

Now, there is an alternative. The research team have created a low cost metal-free catalyst which can be scaled up for industrial and commercial use. They synthesized a series of edge-selectively halogenated (Cl, Br and I) graphene nanoplatelets (XGnPs) by ball-milling graphite flake in the presence of chlorine (Cl2), bromine (Br2), or iodine (I2), respectively.
The resultant XGnPs were tested as cathode electrodes of fuel cells and revealed remarkable electrocatalytic activities for ORR with higher tolerance to methanol crossover/CO poisoning effects and longer-term stability than those of the original graphite and commercial Pt/C electrocatalysts. This makes XGnPs a possible replacement for platinum (Pt) in fuel cells, bringing down the cost and increasing the likelihood of commercialization.

“Our result presents new insights and practical methods for designing edge-functionalized GnPs as high-performance metal-free ORR electrocatalysts through low-cost and scalable ball-milling techniques,” said Prof. Jong-Beom Baek of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, who led the research team.

“We made metal-free catalysts using an affordable and scalable process,” said Prof. Liming Dai of Case Western Reserve and one of the paper’s authors. “The catalysts are more stable than platinum catalysts and tolerate carbon monoxide poisoning and methanol crossover.”

The research was led by Prof. Jong-Beom Baek, director of the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy/Low-Dimensional Carbon Materials Center at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. Fellow authors include: In-Yup Jeon, Hyun-Jung Choi, Min Choi, Jeong-Min Seo, Sun-Min Jung, Min-Jung Kim and Neojung Park, from Ulsan; Sheng Zhang from Case Western Reserve; and Lipeng Zhang and Zhenhai Xia from North Texas.

A description and details of the new research was published on June 5, 2013 (British Time) in the (Nature Publishing Group) Scientific Reports. (Title: Facile, scalable synthesis of edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction, DOI: 10.1038/srep01810)

More Information on Edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets (XGnPs)

Edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets (XGnPs) are solution processable, and show remarkable electrocatalytic activity toward ORR with a high selectivity, good tolerance and excellent long-term cycle stability.
Although extensive efforts have been devoted to the development of non-precious metal-based electrocatalysts, their practical application is still far from being a reality due to their limited electrocatalytic activity, poor cycle stability, and sometimes environmental hazard.

Alternatively, carbon-based materials, doped with heteroatoms such as boron (B), halogen (Cl, Br, I) nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S) and their mixtures, have attracted tremendous attentions as metal-free ORR electrocatalysts. However, full potential of these carbon-based, metal-free catalysts is hard to achieve without the synthetic capability for large-scale, low-cost production of the heteroatome-doped, carbon-based materials.

These novel metal-free electrocatalysts were synthesized by ball-milling at high speed rotation (500 rpm) using stainless steel balls, generating sufficient kinetic energy to cause bond cleavages of the graphitic C-C framework. As a result, active carbon species formed at the broken edges of graphite, which were sufficiently reactive to pick up halogens in the sealed ball-mill capsule.

Journal information

Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group) Facile, scalable synthesis of edge-halogenated graphene nanoplatelets as efficient metal-free electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction, DOI: 10.1038/srep01810

Funding information

World Class University (WCU), Mid-Career Researcher (MCR) and Basic Research Laboratory programs through the National Research Foundation of Korea, US-Korea NBIT and the U.S Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Eunhee Song | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.unist.ac.kr
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Switched-on DNA
20.02.2017 | Arizona State University

nachricht Using a simple, scalable method, a material that can be used as a sensor is developed
15.02.2017 | University of the Basque Country

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microhotplates for a smart gas sensor

22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists unlock ability to generate new sensory hair cells

22.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Prediction: More gas-giants will be found orbiting Sun-like stars

22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>