HKUST Develops World’s Most Durable Hydrogen Fuel Cell

World’s most durable Hydrogen Fuel Cell: A new hydrogen fuel cell has been developed by scientists at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Key Points:

  • It the world’s most durable cell to date.
  • It is also more cost-effective, paving the way for a wider application of green energy in the pursuit of a carbon-neutral world.

Challenges faced by Hydrogen fuel cells commercially:

  • Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising clean energy option as they efficiently generate power by converting hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, with zero emission of carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and other air pollutants that may cause smog and other health problems.
  • Despite their advantages for the environment and years of research and development, hydrogen fuel cells have not yet been commercially commercialized.
  • That is because its power generation depends heavily on an electrocatalyst which is largely comprised of the very expensive and rare metal platinum.
  • Researchers have tried to develop alternatives by replacing platinum with more common and inexpensive materials like iron, nitrogen or carbon.
  • However, those materials have either proven inefficient in power generation or have suffered from poor durability.

About World’s most durable Hydrogen Fuel Cell:

  • But now, a research team led by Prof. Minhua Shao from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at HKUST, discovered a new formula.
  • This formula cuts down the proportion of platinum used by 80%.
  • It has also set a record with respect to durability level of cell.
  • The new cell managed to maintain platinum catalytic activity at 97% after 100,000 cycles of accelerated stress test, as against the current catalyst whose performance reduced by 50% in 30,000 cycles.
  • In another test, the new fuel cell did not show any performance decay after operating for 200 hours.