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The fuel cell in the laboratory © RUB, Marquard

A catalyst with self-defense against oxygen

Nature Comm.: On the route to cheap and efficient fuel cells.

Even traces of oxygen can deactivate molecular catalyst that are incorporated in fuel cells. Consequently, this drawback hampered the use of such catalyst based on abundant metals, which mimic the active center of natural biocatalyst, in technological relevant applications. Now, a team of researchers from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), the Max-Planck-Institute for Energy Conversion in Mülheim and the from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Washington, USA, was able to equip such a catalyst with a self-defense mechanism against molecular oxygen. Their results were published in Nature Communications, 28th February 2018. 

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