Monday, 2 October 2017: 15:20
National Harbor 2/3 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
One of the grand challenges facing humanity today is the development of an alternative energy system that is safe, clean, and sustainable and where combustion of fossil fuels no longer dominates. A distributed renewable electrochemical energy and mobility system (DREEMS) could meet this challenge. At the foundation of this new energy system, we have chosen to study a number of electrochemical devices including fuel cells, electrolyzers, and flow batteries. For all these devices electrocatalysis and polymer electrolytes play a critical role in controlling their performance, cost, and durability, and thus their economic viability. In this presentation, I will focus on our recent work on hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells (HEMFCs) which can work with nonprecious metal catalysts and inexpensive hydrocarbon polymer membranes. More specifically I will show the roadmap we have developed for this technology, the progress we have made in developing the most stable membranes and the most active nonprecious metal catalysts. I will also discuss why hydrogen oxidation reactions are slower in base than in acid for precious metal catalysts.