STTR Phase I: Graphene-Platinum Composite for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Allotropica Technologies
413 Deming Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
104 AIRPORT DR STE 2200
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Institution POC

Abstract

This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project will develop a multifunctional graphene-platinum composite for hydrogen fuel cells. High performance fuel cells currently have inefficient catalyst utilization due to limited contact between Pt nanoparticles and the solid proton conductor. This difficulty can be ameliorated by the use of high-Pt-content catalysts supported on high-surface-area supports. Graphene, a one-atom-thick, conductive allotrope of carbon, is an ideal catalyst support with a rare combination of extremely high specific surface area, remarkable thermal/electrical conductivity, and good thermal stability. Graphene catalyst supports will increase the efficacy of the Pt catalyst, retard the sintering/agglomeration of Pt nanoparticles, and provide electronic continuity for electron transport. Allotropica Technologies, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina, will exploit its newly discovered route to graphene for fuel cell applications. The combination of high surface area and low-porosity in the proposed graphene-Pt composite