A Korean research team successfully developed a technique to make a reusable electrode material for fuel cells for the first time. Once the technology, which was already transferred to a local firm, is commercialized, it is expected to greatly contribute to the supply of industrial materials.
A research team headed by professors Baek Jong-bum, Kim Gun-tae, Jung Hoo-young, Park No-jung, and Dr. Jeon In-yeop at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology announced on May 26 that they succeeded in developing a reusable electrode material for fuel cells by selectively coating antimony with graphene through a mechanochemical process, thereby maximizing electrochemical activities.
Fuel cells are used to generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen, alcohol, oil, and oxygen, using a catalyst. Since platinum is mostly used for the catalyst, it is expensive to make fuel cells. Moreover, they perform poorly. Graphene used to receive a lot of attention as a replacement, but due to low electrochemical activities, the use of a non-metal element turned out to damage graphene crystals.
The research findings were first published online on May 22 by Nature Communications, a bi-monthly scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.