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Electrochemical Characterization Laboratory

The Energy Systems Integration Facility's Electrochemical Characterization Laboratory is designed for evaluating the electrochemical properties of novel materials and understanding the reaction mechanisms within electrochemical fuel cells to address issues of cost, performance, and durability facing proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

Photo of an NREL researcher evaluating catalyst activity in the Electrochemical Characterization Laboratory.

Key Infrastructure and Services

  • Autolab potentiostats from Metrohm for electrochemical experiments on catalysts
  • Capability to take surface area measurements, oxygen reduction activity, electrochemical quartz crystal micro balance (EQCMB) measurements, ring disc measurements, single channel/dual channel measurements, and impedance measurements
  • Ink preparation and deposition capabilities
  • Rotating disk electrode polishing, using handheld and automated methods via a Buehler polisher
  • Ultra-pure nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and oxygen

Types of Research

  • Measurements in acidic or basic media
  • Measurement of electrochemical surface area via nitrogen absorption and carbon monoxide stripping techniques
  • Measurement of catalyst activity as a function of potential for various electrochemical reactions, with a focus on hydrogen and oxygen reactions
  • Biofuels research to screen catalysts and experimental conditions for the electrochemical conversion of biomass derived chemicals
  • Determination and benchmarking of novel electrocatalyst
  • Determination of electrocatalyst and support corrosion resistance and durability
  • Synthesis and characterization of novel electrocatalyst
  • Determination of fundamental electrochemical parameters
  • Estimation of electrocatalyst use

Recent Projects

Reducing automotive fuel cell costs with general motors

Studying contamination effects and activity of platinum/carbon catalysts with 3M

Evaluating performance of novel extended surface catalysts with University of Colorado and ALD NanoSolutions