Electrocatalyst for Better Batteries

Author:Fuel Cells Works     Source:Fuel Cells Works     Click:306     Publish time:2013/7/9 15:35:25

A new electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction has been developed at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea.

Led by Prof. Jaephil Cho, dean of the Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy at U.N.I.S.T., the research team developed a new strategy to design inexpensive and durable electrochemical oxygen reduction catalysts for both metal-air batteries and fuel cells.

Electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction are critical components that can enhance the performance of such energy storage devices for high-energy demand applications – such as powering electric vehicles.

Currently, platinum and its alloys are the most effective known catalysts for oxygen reduction. But these are expensive, and better, cheaper catalysts are being sought.

The research team from U.N.I.S.T. developed an inexpensive and scalable bio-inspired composite electrocatalyst, iron phthalocyanine with an axial ligand anchored on a single-walled carbon nanotube. Their catalyst demonstrated a higher electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction than platinum-based catalysts. It is also more durable, achieving a much longer cycle life – reaching more than 1,000 charge and recharge cycles during a durability test.

Aside from Mr. Cho, researchers include Ruiguo Cao, Ranjit Thapa, Hyejung Kim, Xioadong Xu, and Prof. Noejung Park from U.N.I.S.T. and researchers from Pohang Accelerator Laboratory, Loa Alamos National Laboratory and Georgia Institute of Technology.

The research was supported by the Converging Research Centre Program through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Korea is also acknowledged.

Keywords:Electrocatalyst for Better Batteries
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