Article Highlight | 9-Jan-2023

Discovery of efficient oxygen reduction electrodes by PolyU researchers facilitates ceramic fuel cell green technology 

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Ceramic fuel cells, also known as solid oxide fuel cells, are promising green electrochemical devices for its high energy efficiency, low emissions and fuel flexibility.  

The development of high performance and durable cathode materials is key for efficient and durable ceramic fuel cells. However, previous cathode material development based on trial-and-error approach is time-consuming, expensive and difficult to identify optimal material composition.  

Efficient Discovery of Oxygen Reduction Electrodes
Prof Meng Ni’s team at the Department of Building and Real Estate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University published the paper “A combined ionic Lewis acid descriptor and machine-learning approach to prediction of efficient oxygen reduction electrodes for ceramic fuel cells” in Nature Energy, in collaboration with Prof Heping Xie from Shenzhen University and Prof Zongping Shao from Nanjing Tech University.  

This demonstrates an experimentally validated machine-learning-driven approach to accelerate the discovery of efficient oxygen reduction electrodes. Significantly, the ionic Lewis acid strength (ISA) is introduced as an effective physical descriptor for the oxygen reduction reaction activity of perovskite oxides.

Facilitate Green Power Generation
By an integrated approach combining machine-learning, density functional theory (DFT) computation and experimental testing, the team successfully identified potential cathode materials for ceramic fuel cell from over 6000 possible material compositions.

These new materials enable ceramic fuel cells to achieve high performance and excellent durability.  This research study demonstrates a new strategy to facilitate ceramic fuel cell development for clean power generation and carbon neutrality.  

Research focus of Prof Meng Ni, Professor of Department of Building and Real Estate and Associate Dean (Research) of Faculty of Construction and Environment at PolyU, covers fuel cells, hydrogen production, batteries and low-grade heat utilization. 

Detail of the paper:

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