Spinach Is The New Green Catalyst That Can Power Fuel Cells

Spinach Is The New Green Catalyst That Can Power Fuel Cells

Published: 12-Oct-2020 | Published By: Market Research Store

Spinach takes us down the memory lane wherein it was a power generator for Popeye. However, it is something that majority of the kids refrain from eating. This green leafy vegetable is packed with nutrients that provide the necessary energy needed in humans. Furthermore, it also has been found to have the capability to power fuel cells. According to the researchers from American University, spinach can be transformed into nanosheets that act as a catalyst for an oxygen reduction reaction in metal-air batteries and fuel cells. The oxygen reduction reaction is present in both fuel cells and metal-air batteries and is also responsible for slowing down the energy output in these devices.

Traditionally, carbon materials were known to catalyze the reaction but their poor performance has questioned its further usage. Thus, the team came up with a cost effective and minimal toxic preparation technique to develop a highly efficient catalyst using natural resources. They found spinach to be the suitable candidate for it. The new method was found to help produce highly active, carbon-based catalysts using spinach. Additionally, the stability and activity of this renewable biomass was found to outperform the commercially used platinum catalysts. The spinach-based catalysts could be used in hydrogen fuel cells and metal-air batteries.

The green leafy substance triggers rapid oxygen reduction reaction to generate high current and more energy. It is anticipated to have wider application in the fuel cells and metal-air batteries that power electric vehicles and various types of military gear. The researchers are also working on other plant products such as cattail grass or rice to develop green catalysts. The zeroing on spinach as a catalyst was basically due to its abundance in growth, high iron & nitrogen content, and low temperature tolerance. The spinach-derived carbon nanosheets are created using multi-step process. Moreover, the researchers are planning on integrating these nanosheets into hydrogen fuel cells and also to reduce the energy utilization during the generation process.

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