Indian scientists develop green tech, pave way for low-cost, durable fuel cells

Highlights :

Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that produce DC electricity from hydrogen with water as a byproduct and can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, material handling and emergency backup power.

The latest development in the advancement of green energy tech is Indian scientists’ indigenous fabrication of a platinum-based electrocatalyst for use in fuel cells.

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The electrocatalyst developed showed comparable properties to the commercially-available electrocatalyst in terms of its performance in fuel cells, superior corrosion resistance and could enhance the lifetime of fuel cell stack performance.

Fuel cells are energy conversion devices that produce DC electricity from hydrogen with water as a byproduct and can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, material handling and emergency backup power.

Although the electrocatalyst technology has a lot of merits in green energy production, the key drawback currently is the huge cost incurred in importing components. The platinum-based electrocatalyst plays an important role in increasing durability and decreasing fuel cell costs.

The work done by scientists of International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI) in Telangana, an autonomous R&D Centre of the department of science and technology, has been published in the ‘International Journal Of Hydrogen Energy’, and a patent has been filed, Science and Technology department’s statement said.

Tata Narasinga Rao, ARCI director, said commercialisation of indigenous electro-catalysts will help green hydrogen technology take off in India. R Gopalan, regional director, ARCI-Chennai, feels that indigenous catalysts could reduce the dependence on imported electro-catalysts and would give a boost to Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Commercialisation of the ARCI technology is expected to begin in the next quarter. Other applications for the platinum-based electrocatalyst are also being planned.

Las Engineers and Consultants Pvt. Ltd (LECPL), a Mumbai-based company engaged in designing and building plants for chemical & pharmaceuticals, and allied industries are in the process of acquiring the ARCI know-how for manufacturing of the developed electrocatalyst.

Raman Vedarajan, one of the inventors of the technology, feels that this development is vital for ensuring ‘Made-in-India’ durable polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks.

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