UConn Professor Develops Low Cost Fuel Cell Process

University of Connecticut (UConn) professor Radenka Maric has developed a low cost method of creating fuel cell membranes. The new technique will reduce the high cost of platinum in fuel cells by 10 times.

According to UConn, “…one of the primary drawbacks to the widespread use of the cells is that they are expensive to manufacture because platinum, a rare and expensive metal used as catalyst material to create energy, is one of the cell’s main components.

“At UConn’s clean energy engineering facility, Maric has developed a prototype manufacturing process for the fuel cells that uses 10 times less catalyst material with little waste. The low-temperature process allows for important industrial controls and flexibility, and can be easily scaled up for mass production …

“In response to industry demand for lower manufacturing costs, increased durability, and increased efficiency for fuel cells, Maric created a novel production process known as reactive spray deposition technology, or RSDT. In the process, small particles of catalyst material, such as platinum, are shot out of a nozzle in the form of a gas flame, where they are instantly cooled into atom-sized solids and sprayed onto the fuel cell membrane in a carefully calibrated fine layer.”

So, there you have it. This is one more example of scientists and researchers working on ways to significantly reduce costs in fuel cells and gearing them towards commercialization within the next few years. Hydrogen deniers cannot stop the collective wisdom and ingenuity that are pushing fuel cells rapidly into the mainstream.

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