Grant: $150,000 - National Science Foundation - Jun. 21, 2009
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Award Description: This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project will develop a multifunctional graphene-platinum composite for hydrogen fuel cells. High performance fuel cells currently have inefficient catalyst utilization due to limited contact between Pt nanoparticles and the solid proton conductor. This difficulty can be ameliorated by the use of high-Pt-content catalysts supported on high-surface-area supports. Graphene, a one-atom-thick, conductive allotrope of carbon, is an ideal catalyst support with a rare combination of extremely high specific surface area, remarkable thermal/electrical conductivity, and good thermal stability. Graphene catalyst supports will increase the efficacy of the Pt catalyst, retard the sintering/agglomeration of Pt nanoparticles, and provide electronic continuity for electron transport. Allotropica Technologies, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina, will exploit its newly discovered route to graphene for fuel cell applications. The combination of high surface area and low-porosity in the proposed graphene-Pt composite constitutes a new type of electrocatalyst, one that will achieve higher catalyst utilization and result in enhanced fuel cell performance. Fuel cells continue to attract attention worldwide; the European Union and Japan are spending more than $100 million annually on fuel cell research. The heart of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell is a membrane electrolyte sandwiched between two layers of catalyst, typically in the form of platinum or alloyed platinum nanoparticles dispersed onto a high surface area form of carbon. We propose to use the ultra-high surface area of graphene to support Pt nanoparticles catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells. Our novel graphene-Pt composite should lead to an improvement in performance efficiency, mechanical strength, and the thermal management in this important component of a comprehensive energy strategy.
Project Description: See Award Description Research Underway
Jobs Summary: One scientist was hired to be in charge of the project; One lab technician was hired at subcontractor UNC-Chapel Hill for the project. (Total jobs reported: 2)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Jun. 21, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.