Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists develop novel catalyst with two functions

Date:
July 9, 2014
Source:
Ruhr-University Bochum
Summary:
Chemists have made a decisive step towards more cost-efficient regenerative fuel cells and rechargeable metal-air batteries. They developed a new type of catalyst on the basis of carbon, which can facilitate two opposite reactions: electrolysis of water and combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. A catalyst of this kind might make the storage of wind and solar energy and the manufacture of cost-efficient batteries, for example for electric cars, possible.

Chemists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have made a decisive step towards more cost-efficient regenerative fuel cells and rechargeable metal-air batteries. They developed a new type of catalyst on the basis of carbon, which can facilitate two opposite reactions: electrolysis of water and combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. A catalyst of this kind might make the storage of wind and solar energy and the manufacture of cost-efficient batteries, for example for electric cars, possible. The team published their report in the "International Edition" of the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Related Articles


Switching from electrolysis to combustion

When energy is supplied, the so-called bi-functional catalysts can split water into hydrogen and oxygen- referred to as electrolysis. They can then store the energy in the chemical bonds of the thus formed hydrogen. The same catalysts can also have their polarity reversed to become fuel cells; they combust hydrogen with oxygen to water, generating electricity at the same time. So far, researchers have been using noble-metal catalysts for this purpose. However, these catalysts have the disadvantage of being either good for electrolysis or good for combustion, but not for both.

Carbon-based catalysts

The novel catalysts from Bochum are made from manganese-oxide or cobalt-oxide nano particles which are embedded in specially modified carbon, into which the researchers have integrated nitrogen atoms in specific positions. The team headed by Prof Dr Wolfgang Schuhmann and Prof Dr Martin Muhler from the Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry analysed the catalysts using a number of spectroscopic and electrochemical methods. They have thus determined which properties are essential for bi-functionality.

"Irresistibly simple" to manufacture

In a previous publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the researchers from Bochum described another approach for manufacturing bi-functional carbon catalysts. To this end, they had "cut open" carbon nanotubes by applying thermal energy and oxygen, thus rendering the catalyst particles embedded therein usable. "This method is irresistibly simple," says Martin Muhler. Compared to noble-metal catalysts, the production would be highly cost-efficient.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ruhr-University Bochum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Justus Masa, Wei Xia, Ilya Sinev, Anqi Zhao, Zhenyu Sun, Stefanie Grützke, Philipp Weide, Martin Muhler, Wolfgang Schuhmann. MnxOy/NC and CoxOy/NC Nanoparticles Embedded in a Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Matrix for High-Performance Bifunctional Oxygen Electrodes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201402710
  2. Anqi Zhao, Justus Masa, Wei Xia, Artjom Maljusch, Marc-Georg Willinger, Guylhaine Clavel, Kunpeng Xie, Robert Schlögl, Wolfgang Schuhmann, Martin Muhler. Spinel Mn–Co Oxide in N-Doped Carbon Nanotubes as a Bifunctional Electrocatalyst Synthesized by Oxidative Cutting. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2014; 136 (21): 7551 DOI: 10.1021/ja502532y

Cite This Page:

Ruhr-University Bochum. "Chemists develop novel catalyst with two functions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709105014.htm>.
Ruhr-University Bochum. (2014, July 9). Chemists develop novel catalyst with two functions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709105014.htm
Ruhr-University Bochum. "Chemists develop novel catalyst with two functions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140709105014.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Obama Reveals Nuclear Breakthrough on Landmark India Trip

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 25, 2015) — In a glow of bonhomie, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveil a deal aimed at unlocking billions of dollars in nuclear trade. Pavithra George reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

NTSB: Missing Planes' Black Boxes Should Transmit Wirelessly

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — In light of high-profile plane disappearances in the past year, the NTSB has called for changes to make finding missing aircraft easier. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Iconic Metal Toy Meccano Goes Robotic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 22, 2015) — Classic children&apos;s toy Meccano has gone digital, releasing a programmable kit robot that can be controlled by voice recognition. The toymakers say Meccanoid G15 KS is easy to use and is compatible with existing Meccano pieces. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

The VueXL From VX1 Immersive Smartphone Headset!

Rumble (Jan. 22, 2015) — The VueXL from VX1 is a product that you install your smartphone in and with the magic of magnification lenses, enlarges your smartphones screen so that it&apos;s like looking at a big screen TV. Check it out! Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins