Accelerating the development of effective platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) electrocatalysts requires a systematic approach that employs high-throughput, combinatorial, and computational methods to direct discovery and development. As such, ElectroCat’s mission is to streamline access to unique and powerful tools across the national laboratory network, to help develop missing strategic capabilities, and to curate a public database of information that will serve to enable the incorporation of PGM-free catalysts and electrodes into next-generation fuel cells.
ElectroCat’s initial areas of focus include:
- Discovery, characterization, and development of catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and phosphoric acid and phosphoric acid-based fuel cells (PAFCs);
- Discovery and development of PGM-free catalysts and electrodes for the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and ORR in alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs);
- Development of PGM-free electrodes and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for use in these three types of fuel cells, PAFCs, and AMFCs being less developed but promising technologies for lower-cost fuel cell systems in the future;
- Development and optimization of tools to synthesize and characterize PGM-free catalysts, electrodes, and MEAs, including computational and experimental high-throughput, combinatorial methods; and
- Aggregation of data into an easily searchable database to facilitate the identification of catalyst materials and electrode structures and the development of next-generation MEAs.