Graphene offers fuel cell promise

laser induced graphene - picture Rice UniversityResearchers at Rice University said a type of graphene they’ve developed could end up as a candidate to replace platinum in catalytic fuel cell applications.

The chemists have discovered a way to embed metallic nanoparticles using laser induced graphene, which ia flexible film with porous graphene.

The metal oxide laser induced graphene (MO-LIG) would allow manufacturers to use commercial polymers with simple inexpensive metal salts added, according to Rice’s James Tour.

He said: “We can subject them to the commercial laser scriber, which generates metal nanoparticles embedded in graphene. So much of the chemistry is done by the laser, which generates graphene in the open air at room temperature.”

He said the composites have less than one percent metal but act as “super catalyts” for fuel cells.

The scientists mixed liquid polyimide with boron creating laser induced graphene with a greater capacity to store a charge, making it a supercapacitor.

Tests at Rice showed that the MO-LIGs have the ability to catalyse oxygen reduction.