Hiroshi Kitagawa and Hirokazu Kobayashi, both are from Kyoto University, developed a new electrode that doubles the output of a fuel-cell electric vehicle. Incorporated into the generating equipment of a fuel-cell EV, it can increase the acceleration of an EV to that of a gasoline vehicle. A metal catalyst of a nanometer size increases the output of a cell by two times. The two professors plan to put the electrode into practical use in alliance with companies involved in the production of electrodes and catalysts.
They covered a very small palladium cube of 10 nanometers square with an organic compound several nanometers thick. The organic compound stays hydrogen of fuel near palladium. When compared with the conventional electrode exposed particles of palladium, the new electrode makes is easier to occur the reaction to generate hydrogen, resulting in a higher output of the fuel cell. It is expected that the new electrode will allow easy production at the same cost of the existing electrode.