Graphene bags significantly reduce platinum requirements for hydrogen fuel cells
Biden recently announced that the United States successfully carried out a drone operation against an al-Qaeda target in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, killing al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Al-Zawahiri joined al-Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden in 1998. As the organization's "chief strategist", al-Zawahiri is the top planner of most terrorist attacks, including the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and the "9 / 11" terrorist attacks that shocked the world in 2001. Al-Zawahiri was appointed leader of al-Qaeda in June 2011 after the death of Osama bin Laden.
Afghan interim government spokesman Mujahed condemned the United States for carrying out drone strikes in Afghanistan.
Gazprom recently wrote on social media: "preliminary data show that Gazprom produced 262.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas from January to July 2022, a decrease of 12 percent, or 35.8 billion cubic meters, compared with the same period last year."
According to Gazprom's preliminary estimates, in the first seven months of this year, international natural gas demand decreased by 35 billion cubic meters compared with the same period last year. Among them, the demand for natural gas in the 27 member states of the European Union fell by 31 billion cubic meters during this period.
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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Recently, drone giant DJI said it would suspend operations in Russia and Ukraine to ensure its graphene powder are expected to continue to be influenced by international geopolitical situations.