- R&D 100 Awards
Argonne’s Porous Nano-Network Catalyst revolutionizes the non-precious metal catalyst design and synthesis simultaneously at the active site and electrode architecture levels. It offers the highest possible active site density and significantly improves charge and mass transfers using low-cost chemicals and earthly abundant materials. The catalysts are demonstrated to be highly effective toward oxygen reduction reaction, a key electrochemical reaction at the fuel cell cathode, in both acidic and basic environments, making it applicable to both proton exchange membrane and alkaline membrane fuel cells. The new catalyst outperforms the best benchmarked NPMC by 76 percent and approaches Pt/C in acidic media, and outperforms Pt/C in alkaline media in both activity and durability. It also led to 20 to 25 times cost saving in the catalyst material, rendering it an attractive and viable replacement for the expensive precious metal catalysts in the practical fuel cell applications.