Electronic metal-support interaction enhanced oxygen reduction activity and stability of boron carbide supported platinum

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2017-06-22

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15802

Affiliations: 3

Authors: 10

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Research Highlight

A step closer to better performing fuel cells

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

Scientists have developed a technique for improving a fundamental step in the production of electricity from hydrogen that could lead to cleaner, more efficient energy technologies, according to study published in Nature Communications.

The chemical reaction used to convert hydrogen gas to electricity, called the oxygen reduction reaction, or ‘ORR’, is inefficient and requires a catalyst like platinum, which is unstable for long-term use, to increase the rate of reaction.

By using platinum nanoparticles coated with an extremely hard ceramic polymer, called graphite-rich boron carbide, researchers from the University of Cape Town and colleagues in the United Kingdom have developed a catalyst that is more stable than those currently available, and which also enhances ORR activity.

The work could pave the way to better performing fuel cells and energy storage technologies.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 8, 15802 (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15802 doi: 10.1038/ncomms15802
Institutions FC
School of Chemistry, Soton, United Kingdom (UK) 0.40
Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, Soton, United Kingdom (UK) 0.35
UCT Centre for Catalysis Research, South Africa 0.25

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