Researcher at University of Basque Country devises fuel that are more efficient cells, thanks to a new catalyst
Methanol fuel cells are an efficient and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, but they are still not economically viable Nevertheless, for his PhD, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) research chemist, José E. Barranco, has developed new materials that enable the manufacture of cheaper and more efficient methanol fuel cells.
Over the past decades climate change and its consequences for life on our planet have given rise to a growing scientific interest in the development of alternative energies. The fossil fuels that currently dominate our energy map are not only becoming scarce, but are moreover generating large quantities of contaminating gases. Within the field of renewable energies the scientific community is today devoting great efforts to investigating and developing fuel cells, capable of creating electrical energy from a chemical reaction between a fuel and oxygen.
For fuel cells to be a competitive option amongst alternative energies, advances in a number of fields are required, amongst these being the development of new catalysts, i.e. substances that are responsible for accelerating the chemical reaction required for electricity to be produced. It is in here that José E. Barranco’s focused when he presented his PhD thesis, Development of new metallic materials of an amorphous nature for use in direct methanol fuel cells, at the UPV/EHU. José Enrique Barranco Riveros is a graduate in Chemical Sciences and is currently working as a researcher employed by the Polytechnic University School in the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastián. His PhD was awarded excellent cum laude unanimously and was led by Dr. Ángel Rodríguez Pierna of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Environment at the University School.