N.E. Chemcat Corporation, a producer of precious metal and catalyst in Japan, has licensed the electrocatalyst technology conceptualized by researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy.
These catalysts can ensure that the use of expensive platinum is considerably minimized and the fuel cell effectiveness is enhanced to ensure use in electric vehicle applications. Additionally, creative techniques for catalyst creation and equipment design are a part of the license.
Platinum is a highly effective electrocatalyst for fuel-cells but catalysts based on platinum are unstable, costly and have minimal reliability. The new electrocatalysts are reliable, stable, have high activity and contain just one tenth the platinum present in traditional catalysts.
A palladium alloy nanoparticle or palladium core is coated with a one atom thick platinum monolayer. Since platinum and palladium have been integrated, enhanced reduction of oxygen at the oxygen/hydrogen fuel cell cathode is observed. Electricity is generated with hydrogen as the fuel and water is the only byproduct.
A senior scientist stated that they are glad that N.E.Chemcat has licensed their technology and hopes that it will enable the development of cost-effective and durable fuel cell electric vehicles that will be advantageous for the environment as they do not produce any harmful emissions.