Developing new catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells.
Most simply, a fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemical reaction. While there are many variations, the most common fuel cells use hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and heat via the oxygen reduction reaction. In comparison to fossil fuel engines, hydrogen fuel cells are relatively quiet, and more importantly in today’s climate, offer low emissions. The biggest drawback is in efficiency. Currently, the catalysts used are expensive and do not work effectively enough. By increasing catalyst efficiency, the utility of fuel cells would expand.