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 and electrolyzers.
ElectroCat 2.0’s areas of focus include:
- Discovery, characterization, and development of catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs);
- Discovery and development of PGM-free catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) for liquid alkaline and alkaline exchange membrane electrolyzers (AEMECs);
- Development of PGM-free electrodes and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for use in PEMFCs;
- Development of PGM-free electrodes and MEAs for AEMECs;
- 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.
While the current focus of ElectroCat 2.0 is in these specific areas, other reactions and devices in ElectroCat 2.0’s purview are the OER and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) electrocatalysts for AEMECs and polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers.