Researchers from the Polish Academy of Sciences discovered a cheaper component for green energy production

fot. Instytut Fizyki Jądrowej PAN w Krakowie

The production of green electricity requires ethanol fuel cells, which use very expensive ethanol catalysts made of platinum. Scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Krakow, Poland, have come across materials that catalyse ethanol as effectively as expensive platinum, but using an element that is many times cheaper.

“The obstacle to the commercial success of ethanol cells is also their price”, says Dr Mohammad Shakeri from the IFJ PAN. “The catalyst we have found may have a significant impact on its reduction and, consequently, on the availability of new cells on the consumer market. This is because its main component is not platinum, but copper, which is almost 250 times cheaper than platinum”, he explains.

The Polish Academy of Sciences emphasises that the materials obtained have been tested in the laboratories of the IFJ PAN and in the Kraków SOLARIS cyclotron. Tests on the properties of the catalyst produced by the Kraków physicists have been completed with results that give hope for final success.

Modern economy