Metal-Free Catalysts For Oxygen Reduction Reactions And Others

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Developed by Dr. Liming Dai at Case Western Reserve University this technology capitalizes on the strong electron-withdrawing capability of certain polyelectrolytes to functionalize carbon nanomaterials (e.g. carbon nanotubes either in an aligned or non-aligned form) and act as metal-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reactions. The adsorption-induced intermolecular charge-transfer of the polyelectrolyte enables the production of robust electrodes with equivalent performance to commercially-available platinum-based electrodes but with better fuel selectivity resistance to carbon monoxide poisoning and long-term durability. Cost advantages versus platinum group metal-based systems are believed to be potentially in excess of several orders of magnitude. The high surface area good electrical and mechanical properties and superb thermal stability intrinsically characteristic of carbon nanomaterials – particularly aligned carbon nanotubes – provide superior benefits for the carbon-nanomaterial-based electrode to be used in fuel cells under both ambient and harsh conditions (e.g. for high temperature use). Initially focused on fuel cell electrode optimization under NSF and Air Force funding Dr. Dai\'s future work toward commercialization will broaden in scope to non-electrochemical solution chemistry for alternative applications. Applications: Fuel cell electrodes


1) High surface area 2) Good electrical and mechanical properties 3) Superb thermal stability 4) Intrinsically characteristic of carbon nanomaterials – particularly aligned carbon nanotubes

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