Nickel almost as good as platinum for fuel cells

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, News, Research

Published : 6 June 2022

Fuel cells with platinum electrodes are efficient but, because of the material’s scarcity and high cost, are not a viable long-term option.
Nickel, much more readily available, could be used as a catalyst, but only if its efficiency can be improved drastically.
A team of researchers from Irig and CEA-Liten developed an electrode with a nickel catalyst grafted on a gas diffusion layer modified with carbon nanotubes that performed well, delivering a current density of 0.4 A/cm2, not too far behind platinum’s 1 A/cm2.
Here’s how they did it. Based on insights gained from several advanced characterization techniques used simultaneously, they improved surface concentration of the catalyst and, crucially, active layer hydration.
Up next: integration of the electrode into a fuel cell.


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