A team of researchers at Dalhousie University have conducted experiments to develop a highly-efficient and long-lasting platinum catalyst. The automotive industry has been on the lookout for a similar technology for the past decades, and hence, the development of this catalyst is projected to aid several developments in the automotive sector. Platinum catalysts are believed to play a pivotal role in deactivation of toxic gases released from car engines. Furthermore, the development of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cells also relies on platinum catalyst technology. Owing to these factors, it is safe to prognosticate that the development of platinum catalysts would create ripples across the automotive industry in the years to come.
Properties of New Catalyst
A combination of platinum and gold has resulted in the creation of the single-atom catalyst that is projected to increase the efficiency by 100-times as against conventional platinum catalysts, explained Dalhousie’s professor Peng Zhang. Furthermore, the efficiency levels remain on the upper side throughout the lifetime of the catalyst. Conventionally, the platinum catalysts are less efficient as the carbon monoxide molecules block these catalysts through tight bonding. However, the single-atomic structure and the blending of gold in the new catalyst help in improving the efficiency of the new platinum catalyst.
Teaching by Example
Mr. Zhang gives an example of iron in order to explain the catalytic action in greater detail. He states that while iron could become rusted easily, and iron alloy keeps rusting at bay for long period of time. Similarly, the gold-platinum alloy helps in shielding the platinum catalyst from becoming redundant.