Novel Non-Carbonaceous Supports for PEMFC Electrocatalysts


Background: Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are the best candidates for cars buildings and other small applications. The advantage of these types of fuel cells is that they can operate at relatively low temperatures and can vary their output to meet shifting power demands. Market potential is high because of fuel cells’ abilities as portable generators and batteries in military and other applications as off-grid power systems for homes and businesses and in powering automobiles. Technology Description: This technology provides a method for synthesis of high surface area oxygen reduction catalysts supported on conductive metal oxides for use in PEMFC fuel cells or other potential applications. The oxygen catalysts are templated in the pores of mesoporous niobia. The result is an open-frame structure of a non-carbonaceous support.More specifically the synthesis of the structure includes Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly of sol-gel-derived mesoporous niobia which can be obtained by aerosol routes (spray pyrolysis). It has been demonstrated as a synthetic approach for making an Au and Pd template and as a matrix for Pt nano-wire fabrication in silica. The approach can be extended to include niobia ruthenium titanium tantalum and mixed oxide supports. After etching the silica out an electrocatalyst with an open frame morphology is achieved. Applications: 1) PEMFC or PEFC fuel cell applications 2) Platinum nano-wire fabrication 3) A method for nanophase stabilization


1) Self assembling 2) Provides an open frame structure 3) Many different materials can be used to make the templates

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