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Volkswagen, Stanford Develop New Tech for Fuel Cell Power

In a race to come up with eco-friendlier cars, Volkswagen has teamed up with Stanford University to find out how fuel cell powertrain can be more efficient. The collaboration resulted into developing a new triple-power fuel cell catalyst, which is said to bring cost reduction and increase in performance.

Volkswagen and Stanford developed a new process wherein platinum atoms are “precisely placed on a carbon surface” that in turn produces extremely thin particles. In a nutshell, the use of platinum is one of the significant part for fuel cells. The costly platinum is distributed as particles on carbon powder. However, the current fuel cell power does not maximizes the use of platinum as large quantities of it are put to waste. The said reason is why Volkswagen and Stanford came up with a triple-power fuel cell catalyst. It reduces the amount of platinum required while increasing the efficiency of the catalyst and its durability.

“This technology opens up enormous possibilities for cost reduction, as the amount of precious metal used is minimized. At the same time, service life and catalyst performance are increased,” said Stanford University Professor Friedrich Prinz.

The new catalyst technology for fuel cell has a lot of potential in terms of economic efficiency, according to Volkswagen and Stanford. It could be a great alternative to battery-powered drives and the classic combustion engine. The said catalyst technology is currently being tested and Volkswagen and Stanford are finding ways on how to integrate it to industrial-scale production.

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