Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a method to design catalyst structures. This new approach aims for developing chemistries that are sensitive to structure, thereby help attain the optimal activity. Moreover, they have also factored in the stability of the catalyst. Chair of chemical engineering at UD, Myra Ferguson along with Allan and Dion Vlachos worked on this research.
Catalyst’s expediency largely depends on the quality and amount of its active sites. These sites are related to specific electronic properties and geometry, and dealing with them can be strenuous and an inefficient process.
Easier Catalysts Synthesis Speeds-Up Manufacturing
The catalysts are powerhouse substances that help in accelerating chemical reactions. And the efficiency and size of fuel cells can largely benefit from using high-performance catalysts.
Since many years, optimum utilization of catalysts at the atomic level has been a problem. This was due to the unknown active centers and there was no definite information to pack them up together. Researchers developed materials for improved performance, keeping in mind the stability of the materials. Moreover, they mainly emphasized on addressing crystal engineering along with material stability and atomic precision.
The finding of the research that makes it different from other researches is the smooth flow of the material synthesis. They used computers to develop microscopic variations or nano-defects on a catalyst’s surface. As compared to previous researches, the team used an automated approach, which is timesaving. The findings of the research are outstanding, as it makes catalysts easier to synthesize and increases its stability during chemical reactions.
Furthermore, the ease of synthesizing catalysts and their characterization in the laboratory will help in developing fuel cells that have higher performance than current industry standards. The study takes a step forward for developing green fuel cell vehicle economically.