Christopher J. Kiely, Harold B. Chambers Senior Professor, Materials Science and Engineering at Lehigh University, along with an international team have created a new low-temperature catalyst for making high-purity hydrogen gas while using up carbon monoxide (CO) at the same time.
Their discovery has been described in a paper in the journal Science, and could increase the performance of fuel cells that operate on hydrogen fuel but can be poisoned by CO.
The new catalyst helps to generate a purer form of hydrogen to supply to the fuel cell.
The paper titled, Atomic-layered Au clusters on α-MoC as catalysts for the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction, is the ninth in Kiely's career to be published in the peer-reviewed journal.
Among the Authors are Li Lu, a final-year Ph.D. candidate advised by Kiely, and Wu Zhou, his former Student who is currently a Professor at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
Because of the catalyst operating at low pressure and low temperature to convert water (H2O) and CO to hydrogen gas (H2) and carbon dioxide (CO2), it could also decrease the cost of working this so-called "water gas shift" reaction.
With low pressure and temperature, energy consumption will be minimal, making the method less expensive and easier to use in minor settings, such as in fuel cells for cars.