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 October 24, 2014 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 October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
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