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KIST Develops Non-Platinum-Based Catalyst for PEM Fuel Cells

By September 22, 2020 2   min read  (345 words)

September 22, 2020 |

KIST Catalyst 3

KIST Researchers in Korea have developed a technology that can improve efficiency and durability to the level of platinum-based catalysts while using cheap transition metals instead of platinum (Pt) as catalysts when producing hydrogen by electrolyzing water.

Platinum’s advantages are that it has excellent efficiency, but the disadvantage is that it is expensive.

Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM)-based water electrolysis devices are highly active in hydrogen generation reactions even in catalysts made of transition metals rather than expensive platinum-based catalysts.

Seong-Jong Yoo’s PhD team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)  injected a small amount of titanium into molybdenum phosphide (MoP), a low-cost transition metal, through a spray pyrolysis process.

Molybdenum is inexpensive and relatively easy to handle and is used as a catalyst material for energy conversion and storage devices, but it is vulnerable to oxidation and is easily corroded.

The newly developed Ti-MoP catalyst showed that the hydrogen generation reaction activity was equivalent to that of the platinum-based catalyst, while durability was 26 times improved than that of the existing MoP catalyst.

Existing MoP catalysts lose more than 20% of their activity within 48 hours of reaction and cannot be used, but the Ti-MoP catalyst’s performance declined to within 5% of its initial performance even after 15 days of operation, and remained at 80% of its initial performance after 3 months of operation. .

The research team said that molybdenum is inexpensive and relatively easy to handle and is used as a catalyst material for energy conversion and storage devices, but it is susceptible to oxidation and is easily corroded. Ti-MoP catalysts reorganize the electronic structure of each material during the synthesis process, thereby dramatically improving the corrosiveness. Explained that it is possible.

Dr. Yoo said, “This research has improved the hydrogen production efficiency of the transition metal catalyst to the level of platinum catalysts and greatly increased the stability, which was the biggest limitation, and hopes to contribute to accelerate the commercialization of eco-friendly hydrogen energy production technology.” “We will carry out follow-up research for industrialization such as applying fuel cells and improving long-term durability.”

 

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