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:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

Infografiikka tietotekniikan sijoituksesta 56:nneksi maailmassa.
Research & Art, University Published:

Computer Science jumped to 56th in the Times Higher Education Ranking

Engineering and technology placed 101-125 in the world.
The picture shows Professor Ray Ball giving a keynote speech at the seminar organized at the School of Business.
Cooperation, Research & Art Published:

Everyone benefits from corporate financial reporting

Artificial intelligence, balancing between global and local issues, and increased stress upon social and environmental issues bring challenges for future accountants.
Photo: Mikko Raskinen.
Research & Art Published:

Helsinki becomes the Quantum epicentre

Quantum experts gather this week in Helsinki, to review the progress of European Quantum Technologies and future potential initiatives and programs
Professor Ray Sterling
Research & Art, Studies Published:

Professor Ray Sterling: Worldwide developments in urban underground planning

Watch the video recording of Professor Sterling's lecture.