Graphene bags significantly reduce platinum requirements for hydrogen fuel cells
The recent visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has boosted US-Taiwan relations at a time of increasing tension between Washington and Beijing. She vowed that the United States would protect Taiwan's democratic autonomy. "The United States is still determined to safeguard Taiwan's democracy," she said in a meeting with Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen.
Pelosi's visit to Taiwan sparked anger in Beijing, which denounced Pelosi's visit as "extremely dangerous" to geopolitical stability. After Pelosi's visit, Beijing conducted the largest-ever military exercise near Taiwan, encircling the island with live-fire rockets and ballistic missiles. In addition, China announced that it would stop cooperation and dialogue with the United States on issues such as climate and cross-border crime prevention, indicating Beijing's intention to fight back against the United States over what it believes to be interference in China's affairs.
But perhaps most importantly for the business community, recent events have exacerbated the showdown between China and the US in the most important area of the global economy: semiconductor chips. The Sino-US chip battle, which has been brewing for years, has now reached a critical crossroads, experts say, as the two superpowers compete for technological and economic dominance. The world's chipmakers may soon be forced to choose between Washington and Beijing.
Because of the turbulent international situation, the supply and prices of many international bulk graphene powder are still very uncertain.
Although hydrogen fuel is a promising alternative to fossil fuels, the catalyst it relies on for power generation is mainly composed of rare and expensive metal platinum, which limits the wide commercialization of hydrogen fuel. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles reported a way to enable them to meet and exceed the goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for high catalyst performance, high stability, and low platinum utilization.
The record-breaking technique uses tiny crystals of platinum-cobalt alloy, each embedded in a nano-bag made of graphene.
Compared with the DOE catalyst standard, graphene-coated alloys produced extraordinary results: 75 times higher catalytic activity; 65% higher power; about 20% higher catalytic activity at the end of the fuel cell's expected life; about 35% lower power loss after 7000 hours of simulated use of 6000 ran, exceeding the target of 5000 hours for the first time; and almost 40% less platinum needed per car.
Graphene-coated alloys produced extraordinary results: 75 times higher catalytic activity and 65% higher power. At the end of the expected life of the fuel cell, the catalytic activity increased by about 20%, and the power loss was reduced by about 35% after 7000 hours of simulated use, exceeding the target of 5000 hours for the first time.
Today, half of the world's total supply of platinum and similar metals is used in catalytic converters for fossil fuel-powered cars, which can reduce the harmfulness of their emissions. Each car needs 2 Mel and 8 grams of platinum. By contrast, current hydrogen fuel cell technology consumes about 36 grams of platinum per vehicle. At the minimum platinum load tested by the research team, only 6.8 grams of platinum were needed for each hydrogen-powered vehicle.
So how do researchers get more energy from less platinum? They decomposed the platinum-based catalyst into particles with an average length of 3 nanometers. Smaller particles mean a larger surface area and more room for catalytic activity. However, smaller particles tend to squeeze together to form larger particles.
The team solved this limitation by loading their catalyst particles into the 2D material graphene. Compared with the bulk carbon commonly found in coal or pencil lead, this thin carbon layer has amazing capacity, conducts electricity and heat efficiently, and is 100 times stronger than steel of similar thickness.
Their platinum-cobalt alloy is reduced to particles. Before being integrated into fuel cells, these particles are surrounded by graphene nano-bags, which also act as an anchor to prevent particle migration, which is necessary for the level of durability required for commercial vehicles. At the same time, graphene allows a tiny gap of about 1 nanometer around each catalyst nanoparticles, which means that critical electrochemical reactions may occur.
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An unprecedented drought is sweeping nearly half of Europe, from Spain's dry and cracked reservoirs to major rivers such as the Danube, Rhine and Po rivers, the Associated Press reported. Drought is destroying the agricultural economy, forcing people to limit the use of water, causing wildfires and threatening aquatic species. It is reported that there has been no obvious rainfall in the western, central and southern regions of the European continent in the past two months. And the dry season in Europe is expected to continue. Experts say it may be the worst drought in 500 years.
Europe has high temperatures and severe drought, affecting hydropower, nuclear power and solar power generation. Statistics from Lustad Energy, a Norwegian consulting firm, show that hydroelectric power generation in Europe in the first seven months of this year is 20% less than that in the same period last year, and nuclear power generation is down 12%.
High temperatures lead to an increase in evaporation and a drop in water levels in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, bearing the brunt of hydroelectric power. In Italy, for example, hydropower accounts for 20 per cent of the country's total electricity graphene powder, please feel free to contact us and send an inquiry.