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Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction with Reduced Platinum Oxidation and Dissolution Rates

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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Scanning tunneling micrograph showing atoms of platinum on an oxide surface.
Scanning tunneling micrograph showing atoms of platinum on an oxide surface.

Technology Marketing Summary

Platinum is the most efficient electrocatalyst for accelerating the oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells. Under operating conditions, though, platinum catalysts can dissolve. When used in place of pure platinum, platinum-metal oxide composites can spare the precious metal when used as fuel cell catalysts.


Metal oxides are not typically conductive enough to be good substrates for electrochemical deposition of metals. In the inventive method, non-noble metal cations are first adsorbed onto the surface of a metal oxide core. The cation adsorbate is then reduced to provide an appropriate surface for the subsequent deposition of noble metal from a solution of metal salts.


Electrocatalysts made from layers of noble metals, such as platinum, on metal oxide cores stabilize the noble metal against dissolution, resulting in a longer catalytic lifetime compared to bulk platinum/carbon catalysts.

Applications and Industries

Fuel cell catalysts; oxygen reduction; heterogeneous catalysis.

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,308,989
Electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction with reduced platinum oxidation and dissolution rates
The invention relates to platinum-metal oxide composite particles and their use as electrocatalysts in oxygen-reducing cathodes and fuel cells. The invention particularly relates to methods for preventing the oxidation of the platinum electrocatalyst in the cathodes of fuel cells by use of these platinum-metal oxide composite particles. The invention additionally relates to methods for producing electrical energy by supplying such a fuel cell with an oxidant, such as oxygen, and a fuel source, such as hydrogen.
Brookhaven National Laboratory 11/13/2012
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 11-11PrototypeAvailable01/09/201401/09/2014

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To: Poornima Upadhya<>