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Researchers at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have developed a new hydrogen fuel cell which is not only the world’s most durable1 to date, but is also more cost-effective, paving way for a wider application of green energy in the pursuit of a carbon neutral world (Nature Catalysis, "Atomically dispersed Pt and Fe sites and Pt–Fe nanoparticles for durable proton exchange membrane fuel cells").

Hydrogen fuel cell is a promising clean energy option as it generates power by converting hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, with zero emission of carbon dioxide, particulate matters and other air pollutants that may cause smog and other health problems. Despite its environmental benefits and years of development, hydrogen fuel cell was still not widely commercialized. That is because its power generation depends heavily on an electrocatalyst - which is largely made up of the expensive and rare metal platinum.

Scientists have strived to develop alternatives by replacing platinum with more common and inexpensive materials like iron-nitrogen-carbon, but those materials are either proven inefficient in power generation or have poor durability.

Now, a research team led by Prof. SHAO Minhua from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at HKUST, found a new formula which not only could cut down the proportion of platinum used by 80 percent, but also set a record in terms of the cell’s durability level.

To read more, click here.

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