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Supported by both EERE and the Office of Science, scientists at Brookhaven National Lab have developed electrocatalysts that can reduce the use of costly platinum and increase the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles. Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for fuel cells, but platinum-based catalysts are expensive and have low durability. The newly licensed electrocatalysts have high activity, stability, and durability, while containing only about one-tenth the platinum of conventional catalysts used in fuel cells—reducing overall costs.
N.E. Chemcat Corporation, a catalyst manufacturer based in Japan, has licensed the technology, which includes the use of innovative methods for making the catalysts, as well as an apparatus design used in manufacturing them. In addition, a major OEM has expressed interest in the potential of integrating such core shell catalysts into its future advanced fuel cell vehicles. Toyota anticipates that these fuel cell electric vehicles will be on the market by 2015.
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) conducts comprehensive efforts to overcome the technological, economic, and institutional barriers to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.
EERE funding directly resulted in a commercial product now being manufactured with plans to be used in Toyota vehicles.
Long Island, New York
Brookhaven National Laboratory, N.E. Chemcat Corporation, Toyota Motor Company
$3.6 million over 4 years