Symbiosis of cobalt and graphene can displace from the production of fuel cells an expensive platinum
At the American University named after Brown in the study of fuel reactions found a worthy substitute for expensive platinum. The catalyst of the oxygen type reduction reaction was a sheet of graphene with a thin film of cobalt or its oxide deposited on it. In the process of testing, this invention not only confirmed its unique technological properties, not inferior to platinum elements, but also showed good resistance to destruction.
A reducing reaction aimed at reducing the degree of oxidation and the simultaneous release of electrons is usually associated with the cathode of the hydrogen fuel department. In the anode region, oxygen absorbs the electrons released from the hydrogen fuel, during which a charge is generated in the fuel cell. To implement such a process requires a catalyst, to this day they have been platinum, which is not only quite expensive, but also relates to very scarce materials. The directed efforts of scientists have made it possible to reduce the use of such a catalyst and reduce the use of patina to the minimum required quantity. However, until now it was not possible to completely neglect this raw material. A catalyst of a completely new type, in which there is no precious metal at all, has become a worthy alternative to the classical method and significantly reduced the cost and simplified the process of processing.
After conducting a series of successful laboratory tests of such a reaction, it was found that, despite some inhibition of the new substance when initiating the initiation of the interaction, the subsequent oxygen reduction occurs much faster than under the influence of platinum. Also, the graphene-based material with the addition of cobalt better resists corrosion damage associated with the effect of oxygen, and also maintains a stable level of efficiency throughout the entire reaction. To obtain the composition of the new generation, the learned group used the principle of self-assembly, during which graphene raw materials with uniform inclusions of the cobalt fraction were precipitated by ultrasound from two separate compositions of both substances.
The affordable price of the new catalyst will allow the tests to find their industrial application very quickly.
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