The University of Alicante gets a national award in electrochemistry for a study of platinum catalysts
Alicante, 26th September 2011
The University of Alicante has been awarded by the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry for designing a method to speed up trials of the behavior of a platinum-nanoparticle catalysts. The distinction was awarded to Enrique Herrero, Professor of Physical Chemistry at the UA.
It is the CIDETC 2010 Award for Scientific Research in Electrochemistry. It has been organized by the electrochemical group of the Spanish Royal Society of Chemistry and is awarded to the best original work published by researchers of Spanish nationality in national or international journals. The article by Enrique Herrero and his team of researchers was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
This work is called "Imaging Structure Sensitive Catalysis on Different Shape-controlled Platinum Nanoparticles" This involves progress in the study of the behavior of the catalysts in batches, not one by one as it is now, taking color pictures with scanning electrochemical microscope.
As the author describes, the platinum nanoparticles are made to take different forms and researchers check and act upon the geometry of its surface, accelerating one of the reactions that occur in fuel cells, which are a system that allows the generation of energy from the chemical reaction of oxygen with hydrogen or with different compounds. The UA study is performed on how the oxygen captures electrons to form water as end product.
The procedure awarded, as it allows experiments in groups of catalysts and not one by one as it has to be done now, becomes a very quick tool to test the different types of platinum nanoparticles, and it is also valid to evaluate other reactions and other types of catalysts.
The Foundation sponsoring the award, CIDTEC, is an R & D centre specializing in electrochemical technologies.
In the picture, Enrique Herrero (centre) with his team of researchers.
Universidad de Alicante Carretera de San Vicente del Raspeig s/n 03690 San Vicente del Raspeig Alicante (Spain)