Nanostructured ceramic catalysts for fuel cells

Currently, burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas as a primary source of energy is a contributor to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change. Fuel cells are a promising environmentally friendly technology for sustainable clean energy, where the only byproduct is water. An important component of fuel cells for generating electricity is the ‘catalyst’, a material that allows for key chemical reactions to happen. Current difficulties in fuel cell technology are the cost-effectiveness and stability of these catalysts which deteriorate after long term use, these factors have hampered their widespread application in vehicles and homes. The proposed research aims to use the beneficial properties of polymers to make stable hard materials (ceramics) with lessexpensive and highly active catalysts embedded within. The potential benefits of the research are highly active, lower cost, and stable catalysts, furthering the commercial viability of fuel cells and a greener future.

Intern: 
Liam MacFarlane
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ian Manners
Province: 
British Columbia
Partner University: 
Discipline: 
Program: