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2013 DOE Catalysis Working Group Meeting

June 20, 2013

The Catalysis Working Group Meeting is a satellite meeting in the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR), which was held in Arlington, VA form May 13-17, 2013.

There were two talks in the meeting, given by Dr. Nilesh Dale from Nissan USA, and Dr. Stephen Campbell from Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corporation (AFCC), respectively. Both talks were from OEM’s perspective which emphasized more on practical performance, durability and cost rather than basic research.

In Dr. Campbell’s presentation, he showed that carbon support will die after 1000 cycles, while on the other hand oxide support have almost no significant decay. However, the latter was not commercialized due to its cost (v.s. carbon which is available everywhere and inexpensive). It is very interesting that he showed some 3D e-topography images obtained by HRTEM, together with a striking video showing rotating 3D TEM view of the catalysts. The advantage of using this technique over conventional TEM is that it gives people direct info about where are the NPs with respect to the polymer – whether they are on the surface of the polymer, embedded inside, or both. In my own experience, when I took images for catalysts, it was difficult to tell if they are on the surface or not. So this technique is very effective.

Dr. Dale introduced that the R&D of fuel cells is a long journey, containing catalysts synthesis, RDE tests, short stack, full stack, practical tests, and takes aroud 5 to 10 years.

In the last session, discussion was on non-precious metals about possible ways to add the durability targets consistent with those for Pt-based ORR catalysts. Some suggested using active area of catalysts. Others brounght up the issue that the stability of non-precious metals should be defined. Also, some said the realistic back pressure should be specified. Besides, it was discussed that should there be setup a RDE target, and should it be a screening tool only.

Useful link:

DOE-AMR Meeting website


Related articles:
Recap for 88th ACS Colloid & Surface Science Symposium 
2014 DOE Annual Merit Review Meeting (Fuel Cell Topics Recap) 
Highlights of 58th EIPBN Conference 
A Brief Note for ISMPC13 


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