Due to a large grant from the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation
we are now able to fulfill a longstanding ambition to commence the project: ’New electrode materials for O2 reduction and evolution’
The industrialized part of the world relies heavily on fossil fuels for energy production and there are now strong demands for switching considerable amounts of this towards sustainable resources like solar, wind, and wave energy in the form of electricity. Those resources, however, have inherently strong time variations and therefore there is a need for being able to store the energy and thereby averaging out the production. One of the scenarios here is using hydrogen as the medium for either storage or as an energy carrier. Fuel cells fit particularly well into this scenario as they can effectively convert hydrogen into electricity. The opposite process of converting electricity into hydrogen, also called electrolysis, is well known but is done in a special designed unit optimized for this purpose alone. Thus it would be ideal to have reversible fuel cells, which dependent on demand could convert electricity into hydrogen when there is for example plenty of wind and no demand for electric power while doing the opposite when there is no wind and demand for electrical power.
The main obstacle for making fuel cells more efficient for producing electricity and also for use as reversible units is the overpotential for oxygen reduction and evolution. This proposal is aiming at developing new specially structured materials for electro catalysts which reduces these overpotentials and at the same time replaces the scares and expensive noble metals currently constituting the electrodes.)
The work will be carried out as a close collaboration between these universities:
- Technical University of Denmark, DTU Physics - centers CINF and CAMD
- University of Southern Denmark, Department of Chemistry
- Stanford University, USA
Scientific members of the project group:
Professor Ib Chorkendorff
, director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Individual Nanoparticle Functionality (CINF), DTU Physics, Technical University of Denmark
- , Department of Chemistry, Universtity of Southern Denmark
- Assistant Professor Jan Rossmeisl, Center for Atomic-scale Materials Design (CAMD), DTU Physcis, Technical University of Denmark
- Department of Chemical Engineering, Standford University, USA
- Furthermore, one postdoc and 2 PhD students will be employed.