Decorated carbon nanotubes may improve fuel cells

Nanotechnology catalysts may enable more efficient fuel cells to power consumer electronics via the oxidation of methanol. From Michael Gross writing in Chemistry World, “Modified nanotubes catalyse fuel cell“:

A new type of catalyst made by attaching platinum nanoparticles to nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes could be used to oxidise methanol in fuel cells, thanks to work by Chinese chemists.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are normally difficult to modify because they’re chemically unreactive. But replacing some of the carbon atoms with nitrogen creates sites for potential chemical modifications and transforms the tubes into metallic conductors.

The group, led by Hu Zheng at Nanjing University, deposited platinum nanoparticles (3-9nm across) on the surface of such nitrogen-doped CNTs…

The research was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry (abstract).

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