Graphene nanomaterials improves fuel cells and batteries
An American research team at at Los Alamos, along with collaborators from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, and Rutgers University, the research team has developed a new water-removal technique that improves the performance of carbon nanomaterials used in fuel cells and batteries. This latest study provides a complete understanding of the critical role water plays in forming catalysts to reduce oxygen in materials. This discovery presents new horizons for designing advanced carbon nanomaterials for batteries and fuel cells.
The global increasing demand on energy resources, restrictions on fossil fuels or run out it in near future, along with the growing environmental concerns have made it necessary to develop efficient and affordable metal-air batteries and fuel cells, which provide clean and sustainable energy than depending on renewable power resources .
The new study gives a complete understanding of the role and effects of water that plays in graphene oxide nanosheets or chemically functionalized and nanostructured graphene sheet.
. Dry films of graphene oxide include a significant volume of added water that builds up between the oxygen-functionalized nanosheets. Graphene oxide is usually produced in aqueous solutions.
The researchers showed how a simple solvent drying method can remove the accumulated water between the graphitic sheets. When water is removed, the physical structure of these graphene oxide nanosheets changes considerably, and the distance between the nanosheets is also reduced. In addition to this, the researchers also noted that the concentration of functional groups changed significantly, resulting in highly ordered structures. These changes ultimately led to improved electrocatalytic activity, which substantially improves the performance of batteries and fuel cells, and these results make graphene solve many problems and improves fuel cells and batteries .