News

Researchers developed a cost-effective and efficient rival for platinum

Researchers succeeded in creating an electrocatalyst that is needed for storing electric energy made of carbon and iron.

A challenge that comes with the increased use of renewable energy is how to store electric energy.

Platinum has traditionally been used as the electrocatalyst in electrolysers that store electric energy as chemical compounds.

However, platinum is a rare and expensive metal. Now Aalto University researchers have succeeded in developing a substitute to it that is cheap and effective.

"We developed an electrocatalyst that is made of iron and carbon. Now the same efficiency that was achieved with platinum can be obtained with a less expensive material. Nearly 40 per cent of the material costs of energy storage with an electrolyser come from the electrocatalyst", says senior scientist Tanja Kallio.

The findings have just been published in the scientific journal Angewandte Chemie on 12.2.2015.

Losses decrease

The manufacturing process has been developed in cooperation with a research group led by Professor Esko Kauppinen from Aalto University School of Science. The carbon nanotube the group developed conducts electricity extremely well and serves as the support, while the now added only single carbon layer covered iron functions as the catalyst. The manufacturing process has a single stage.

In the manufacturing phase, the iron is covered with graphene.

"The method has been altered to make the electro catalyst very active. By active, we refer to the small amount of energy needed to store electric energy as hydrogen. This reduces the losses caused by chemical storage and the process is economically viable."

The research was conducted at the Aalto University School of Chemical Technology in groups led by Professor Kari Laasonen and Senior scientist Tanja Kallio in cooperation with Professor Esko Kauppinen. The research has been funded by the Aalto University AEF Programme (Aalto Energy Efficiency Research Programme).

Link to the article

Further information
Senior scientist Tanja Kallio
[email protected]
tel. +358 50 5637 567

Professor Kari Laasonen
[email protected]
tel. +358 40 5570044

  • Published:
  • Updated:

Read more news

Cover
Research & Art Published:

The Tentative Program of ITICAT2024

The tentative program of ITICAT2024 has been published.
Artistic illustration: Algorithms over a computer chip
Research & Art Published:

Aalto computer scientists in STOC 2024

Two papers from the field of computer science were accepted to STOC 2024.
Harald Herlin Learning Center
Research & Art Published:

Learning Centre to pilot new opening hours as of 19 August 2024

The change gives Aalto students and staff more extensive access rights to the Learning Centre spaces and collections.
A group of people walking along the linden alley in summer
Cooperation, Research & Art, University Published:

Strong overall result: 27.5 million euros from the Research Council of Finland

A total of 52 Aalto researchers received Academy Research Fellowship and Academy Project funding. The total funding awarded to Aalto University amounts to 27.5 million euros