A hydrogen fuel cell that uses iron

Researchers have developed a hydrogen fuel cell that uses iron instead of rare and costly platinum.

Hydrogen fuel cells make an attractive green alternative for powering vehicles since water vapor is their only by-product.  However, because it uses platinum, it becomes costly to produce.  But there‚Äôs good news.  European researchers created a catalyst or reactant that replaces platinum with iron, carbon, and nitrogen.  Unlike the scarce and expensive platinum, these elements are cheap, readily available, and shown to operate a fuel cell at high power. 

The team is currently working to improve the stability of the catalyst, to match the durability and performance of platinum.  When finally available, this technology will make hydrogen fuel more practically and readily available for extensive use, helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What do you think of this innovation?  Will hydrogen fuels finally make their way to the market? 

Leave a Comment