Atomically dispersed iron hydroxide anchored on Pt for preferential oxidation of CO in H₂

Journal: Nature

Published: 2019-01-30

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0869-5

Affiliations: 6

Authors: 19

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Research Highlight

Poison control for fuel cells

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

© WLADIMIR BULGAR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Clean-running cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells are a step closer to real-world use, after University of Science and Technology (UTS) scientists developed a highly active catalyst to clean harmful impurities from the fuel.

Hydrogen fuel invariably contains some traces of carbon monoxide, which can poison fuel cells. Finding a catalyst that can oxidatively remove carbon monoxide from the fuel, even when the car is first started and the catalyst is cold, has been challenging.

Now, UTS scientists have developed a highly active catalyst consisting of single iron atoms (in the form of iron hydroxide) dispersed across the surface of platinum nanoclusters. This catalyst removed 100% of the carbon monoxide even at temperatures as low as −75 degrees Celsius, suggesting it could be used in a range of fuel-cell applications.

Single metal oxide or hydroxide species on noble-metal surfaces could represent a broad new class of advanced catalysts, the researchers say.

Supported content

  1. Nature 565, 631–635 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0869-5
Institutions FC
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale (HFNL), China 0.40
Department of Chemical Physics, USTC, China 0.24
National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (NSRL), USTC, China 0.21
School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), KTH, Sweden 0.11
University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China 0.03
CAS Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion, USTC, China 0.01

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