Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage (DOE-EPSCoR - PI Atanassov)

The Energy-related research cluster created under this program is bringing together scientists from across New Mexico, building knowledge and contributing to the engineering of materials for energy conversion. This program involves UNM, NMT, NMSU and ENMU and was the first multi-investigator and multi-institutional award funded to CEET. The main objective of this collaborative research project is to provide an enabling materials set for bridging mass-produced biofuels such as ethanol with fuel cell technology. Two intertwining pathways have been explored: 1) ethanol reforming to produce hydrogen, a feed for a H2/O2 fuel cell and 2) direct electrochemical oxidation of ethanol. The first path involves the study of aqueous phase ethanol reforming and identifying the limiting step of oxidation of ethanol in presence of water. The results of this study are being applied to a rational design of electrocatalysts for direct ethanol fuel cells.

Particular attention was paid to the role of the metal oxide phase as a cocatalyst and composite support material. A new family of electrocatalyst materials has been designed with the chemical composition, surface architecture and hierarchical pore structure required to optimize reaction kinetics and transport properties. This award was followed by 5 DOE EERE programs in which the key members of this research team integrated their effort with a list of national laboratory, academic and industrial partners.

skin layer

Advanced catalysts for ethanol oxidation based on Ru-doped Nb oxide high surface area support derived by spray pyrolysis with nanoparticles of Pt as decorating phase. In situ FTIR confirms evolution of CO2 from ethanol electro-oxidation.

S. Pylypenko, E. Peterson, B. Halevi, E. Champagne, T.S. Olson and P. Atanassov, Hierarchically-structured Pt-Alloy Ethanol Oxidation Electrocatalysts, Electrocatalysis, 3 (2012) 334-345
A. Serov, U. Martinez, B. Halevi, A. Falase and P. Atanassov, Highly Active Pd-Cu Catalysts for Electrooxidation of 2-Propanol, Electrochem. Comm., 22 (2012) 193-196
A. Falase, M. Main, K. Garcia, A. Serov, C. Lau, and P. Atanassov, Electrooxidation of Ethylene Glycol and Glycerol by Pt-Based Binary and Ternary Templated Catalysts in Alkaline Media, Electrochimica Acta, 66 (2012) 295-301
D.A. Konopka, M. Li, K. Artyushkova, N. Marinkovic, K. Sasaki, R. Adzic, T.L. Ward and P. Atanassov, Platinum Supported on NbRuyOz as Electrocatalyst for Ethanol Oxidation in Acid and Alkaline Fuel Cells, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 114 (2011) 3043-3056