New research finds catalyst resolves hydrogen fuel cell cost, longevity issues

A multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional group say they have identified a solution to hydrogen fuel cell component cost and longevity issues, which has prevented the technology from gaining a firm foothold in the automotive industry.

According to the research, the answer lies in a key fuel cell component – the catalyst used to drive the reactions.

Hydrogen-oxygen polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) electrochemically react hydrogen and oxygen, yielding electricity and releasing only water as a byproduct, making them an enticing alternative to gasoline or electric vehicles.

The fuel cells typically use a platinum catalyst to speed up the reaction at the oxygen electrode, but platinum is expensive.

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