2015-03-10 10:40:07 Writen By: Peter Jewett

A Recent Development In Electrocatalysts Is Proving To Be Both Effective & Inexpensive

Recently, researchers were successful at creating an electrocatalyst, which is a catalyst that participates in electrochemical reactions to help with the storing of electric energy that comes from iron and carbon. One trial that is associated with this electrocatalyst is the increased use of renewable energy and how it is stored.

Typically, platinum which is a expensive and rare metal, has been used as the "electrocatalyst in electrolyzers that store electric energy as chemical compounds." Researchers from Aalto University in Finland, have successfully developed a substitute to platinum that is both inexpensive and sufficient. They "developed an electrocatalyst that is made of iron and carbon. Now the same efficiency that was achieved with platinum can be obtained with a less expensive material. Nearly 40% of the material costs of energy storage with an electrolyzer come from the electrocatalyst," says senior scientist Tanja Kallio.

The manufacturing process was led by a research group including Professor Esko Kauppinen from Aalto University School of Science. The carbon nanotube the group constructed, conducts electricity very well and works in tandem with support, when adding a single carbon layer covered iron as it acts as a catalyst. The process to manufacture these consists in a single stage.

During the manufacturing phase, the iron is protected with graphene. "The method has been altered to make the electro catalyst very active. By active, we refer to the small amount of energy needed to store electric energy as hydrogen. This reduces the losses caused by chemical storage and the process is economically viable, says Professor Kauppinen."

Read more about this topic from R&D Magazine.

Last Update 2015-03-10 10:40:07
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