New York: EERE-Supported Catalyst Licensed for Use in Fuel Cell Hybrid Advanced Vehicles

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EERE funding directly resulted in a cost-effective commercial electrocatalyst product for fuel cells that is now being manufactured with plans to be used in hybrid vehicles.
Locations: Long Island, New York
Partners: Brookhaven National Laboratory, N.E. Chemcat Corporation
EERE Investment: $3.6 million over 4 years
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

Supported by both EERE and the Office of Science, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory 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. Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) was able to achieve these reductions by implementing innovative methods and a cutting-edge apparatus during manufacturing.

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 and the apparatus design used to manufacture them. In addition, a major OEM plans to integrate these core shell catalysts into its fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHV-adv). The company 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.

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