Science

Platinum is no longer necessary in catalytic converter

Catalysts can be future made of cheap materials without compromising the efficiency of the fuel cell. The precious metal is replaced by an unusual chemical compound called Polyoxometal made by Bremen researchers.Fuel cells are cheaper if prevail catalysts developed by an international team of researchers. You can do completely without the expensive precious metal Platinum. Thus, this trumped team at J├╝lich and Berlin scientists who save 90% of the precious metal in catalytic converters. As base material from Bremen: Beijing and the Florida State University researchers use graphs in Tallahassee (Florida) adhere oxygen atoms. Graph consists carpet made of honeycomb-shaped arrangement of carbon atoms. This carpet is only a single atomic layer thick.

POM as a full replacement of Platinum

Sure, researchers of Polyoxometal (short POM) placed an unusual connection that so define chemist of the Ulm University: it was the “molecular compounds of oxygen and metal atoms. Especially with the metal vanadium, molybdenum, and tungsten are formed highly symmetric compounds, clusters, with fascinating and unusual structures”. The POM has team to Ulrich Kortz and Ali Haider of the private made Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. POM turned out as a full replacement of Platinum, but considerably cheaper.

Chemical Compound Polyoxometal
Chemical Compound: Polyoxometal

Completely free of Platinum catalysts was developed other researchers. However, fuel cells equipped had a significantly lower efficiency. “With fuel cells costs are an important factor,” said Kapaso. “We have now developed a highly efficient system, which is cheaper than Platinum many times over.”

Still fully functional after 1000 tests

The new catalyst has a good chance to be realized industrially. Because researchers have not only developed him. Also theoretically describe the system Kapaso, Guangjin Zhang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Li Kai Yan from Northeast Normal University in the Chinese Changchun were important for the reproducibility.

“It is already known that the Polyoxometal with the shortened formula P8W48 on positively charged particles or surfaces can dock and is very stable form. So we arrived in Bremen on idea of using it as a catalyst”, Kapaso says. “It was a direct hit. The efficiency of our catalyst was even higher than that of a platinum catalyst. And he worked even after a thousand attempts.