Volkswagen and Stanford University develop modified ALD process to increase Pt/C fuel cell catalyst efficiency, improve durability

By mmillikin Volkswagen and Stanford University have developed in partnership a new catalyst production process to reduce the comparatively high cost of automotive fuel cell technology.

One of the biggest cost drivers for fuel cells is the use of the precious metal platinum as a catalyst to operate the fuel cell. The material is conventionally distributed as particles on carbon powder. However, the desired catalytic process only takes place on the surface of the platinum particles, which wastes large quantities of the cost-intensive material.

In the new process developed by Volkswagen and Stanford, platinum atoms are specifically placed on a carbon surface using a

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