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Student Research: New, Durable Catalyst for Key Fuel Cell Reaction May Prove Useful in Eco-Friendly Vehicles

October 17, 2018

A new catalyst, developed by PhD Chemistry student Junrui Li and other researchers at Brown, exceeds Department of Energy targets for performing the oxygen reduction reaction, a key step in generating an electric current in a hydrogen fuel cell. 

One factor holding back the widespread use of eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cells in cars, trucks and other vehicles is the cost of the platinum catalysts that make the cells work. One approach to using less precious platinum is to combine it with other cheaper metals, but those alloy catalysts tend to degrade quickly in fuel cell conditions. Now, Brown University researchers have developed a new alloy catalyst that both reduces platinum use and holds up well in fuel cell testing. Read the full article the full article by Kevin Stacey.