Public Lecture—A Blueprint for New Fuel Cell Catalysts

Lecture Date: Tuesday, March 26th. Daniel Friebel, a SLAC associate staff scientist who studies chemical processes involving catalysts, delivered the March 26 SLAC Public Lecture, “A Blueprint for New Fuel Cell Catalysts.”

Friebel’s talk details how X-ray research at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, coupled with sophisticated computations at SLAC’s SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis, are fostering a greater understanding of chemical processes at work in fuel cells.

Fuel cells rely on catalysts to create electricity from fuel sources such as hydrogen or methanol.

Friebel explains that fuel cells show promise as a source of clean, renewable energy for autos, but current designs need too much costly platinum as a catalyst to split oxygen molecules and burn the fuel. Cheaper catalysts must be found to make the design more viable.

His research at SSRL using X-ray spectroscopy to show bond-breaking and bond-making at work in chemical reactions has explored how the surface of platinum samples react with oxygen. That work, in combination with computer calculations, is providing a blueprint for a new, highly active fuel cell catalyst that uses a far smaller amount of platinum in special atomic configurations, and could pave the way for less expensive fuel cells. Lecturer: Daniel Friebel, SLAC
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This session is about the working of fuel cells. Electrochemical reaction which occur in Hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell and Hydrocarbon-Oxygen fuel is also explained.
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