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New enzyme system could displace platinum-based catalysts in fuel cells

New enzyme system could displace platinum-based catalysts in fuel cells

A new enzyme system that can efficiently produce hydrogen using electricity, as well as generate electricity from hydrogen, could displace platinum-based catalysts in fuel cells.

This research has been led by a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Marseille and the Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion.

The international research team utilised a selection of right polymer side chains that has proven successful in setting the redox potential of the polymer in a way that only a small overvoltage is necessary to overcome the resistance.

To study this, the team built a fuel cell that uses this fuel system and achieved, with an open circuit voltage of 1.16V, the highest ever measured for a system of this type and close to a thermodynamic maximum.

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