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SBIR/STTR

Stable and Efficient Advanced Oxygen Reduction Alloy Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

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Stable and Efficient Advanced Oxygen Reduction Alloy Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells, Phase I
Human exploration of space demands highly efficient, light-weight, long lifetime and maintenance-free power generation systems. Energy storage applications, human-rated exploration vehicles, in-space propulsion systems, un-manned aerial vehicles, robotic and manned rovers require steady state output electricity generation to maximize the operational capabilities and successfully achieve complex missions. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) based fuel cell systems offer the highest efficiency and the lowest weight energy conversion systems to generate electricity for space applications. The efficiency and lifetime of the current PEM fuel cell systems is mainly governed by the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts. Lynntech proposes a novel electro-catalytic approach with an advanced ORR electrocatalyst that utilizes a stabilized platinum alloy supported on an electrically/ionically conductive mixed oxide that addresses the shortcomings of the state-of-the-art ORR Pt Black or carbon supported catalysts. Alloying with transition metals improves the microstructural properties of platinum and increases ORR rate, therefore increases the efficiency. The mixed oxide component effectively decomposes peroxide radicals and suppresses the peroxide radical production, which minimizes the peroxide radical damages on the membrane, hence leading to significant increase in the fuel cell stack lifetime. More »

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