The new catalyst combines platinum and palladium, resulting in high efficiency levels and lower cost.
Image: Mavrikakis group, UW-Madison
In recent years, platinum has been the leading material in the energy industry. However, platinum is both expensive and scarce.
In order to boost alternative energy solutions, researchers have been searching for a substitute for platinum that will allow for cheaper and equally efficient energy technology.
In order to do this, a team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Georgia Institute of Technology are focusing on a new catalyst that combines the more expensive platinum with the less expensive palladium.
This from University of Wisconsin-Madison:
This not only reduces the need for platinum but actually proves significantly more catalytically active than pure platinum in the oxygen reduction reaction, a chemical process key to fuel cell energy applications. The palladium-platinum combination also proves more durable, compounding the advantage of getting more reactivity with less material. Just as importantly, the paper offers a way forward for chemical engineers to design still more new catalysts for a broad range of applications by fine-tuning materials on the atomic scale.