The supposed polymer electrolyte aspect fuel cells (PEMFC) that modify hydrogen and oxygen to electricity—for instance in hydrogen-powered vehicles—require a gold catalyst. This is a problem, as utterly estimable amounts of gold are compulsory during a cathode, where oxygen is reduced to water. The nonesuch and high cost of gold consecrate a categorical barriers to a widespread use of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Now a organisation of researchers from DTU and a University of Copenhagen have detected a organisation of gold alloys that are not usually cheaper, though also efficient. The fuel cells typically used currently underline gold alloyed with nickel or cobalt, that is unfortunately damaged down in a fuel cell.
The researchers have complicated alloys of gold and 7 of a singular earth elements (lanthanides) as good as calcium, and in an essay in Science they have demonstrated that a alloys change a clear structure and somewhat revoke a stretch between a gold atoms in a aspect compared to a required cathodes. In fact, it is a stretch between a gold atoms that controls a catalytic activity and stability.
Mixing gold with lanthanide atoms of opposite sizes allows them to control this distance. This has resulted in platinum-based catalysts for a rebate of oxygen, that are among a many fit catalysts known. It also reduces gold consumption, as 6 times some-more cathodes can be done with a new alloys regulating same volume of platinum. Finally, a new alloys seem to be some-more resistant to degradation. This bodes good for a use of fuel cells, explains Associate Professor Ifan Stephens from DTU Physics:
“Together with a Danish companies IRD Fuel Cells and Danish Power Systems, we continue a work to rise methods for large-scale prolongation and industrial contrast of a alloys. This way, we wish to give a outrageous boost to fuel dungeon use,” he says.