Novel Ru-Ni-S Electrode Catalyst for PEMFC

EPA Grant Number: SU831887
Title: Novel Ru-Ni-S Electrode Catalyst for PEMFC
Investigators: Deng, S. , Andersen, P. , Mulholland, G.
Institution: New Mexico State University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through May 30, 2005
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is the most promising fuel cell technology for automotive and portable power applications; however, the PEMFC’s performance and stability are very sensitive to the trace impurities in the fuels because the PEMFC electrode catalyst (Pt) is very susceptible to trace CO and sulfur compounds in the fuels. The proposed research project is to explore the possibility of replacing electrode catalyst Pt with Ru-Ni-S in the PEMFC that can be fed with high CO and sulfur containing fuels. This will allow us to use the PEMFC with many conventional fuels including gasoline without any complicated fuel purification process. The potential benefits of this project will be very significant in terms of people, prosperity and planet. This project will allow students to participate in a real world research project to address issues of sustainability, environment and people.


The major tasks of this project include:

  • develop Ru-Ni-S catalyst with good Redox properties for H2 and O2;
  • study the catalyst activity for H2 dissociation and O2 reduction;
  • study the catalyst tolerance for CO and S in a fuel cell environment;
  • incorporate the new catalyst into a PEMFC;
  • determine the new PEMFC performance; and
  • implement P3 project as an educational tool for Fuel Cell Class.

Expected Results:

The expected results from this project include:

  • a new formula and preparation procedures for Ru-Ni-S catalyst;
  • demonstration of CO and S tolerance of the new catalyst;
  • a small size PEMFC with Ru-Ni-S catalyst and good performance; and
  • active participation of undergraduate students in research projects.

Supplemental Keywords:

renewable energy, fuel cell, engineering, sustainable development, clean technology, innovative technology, waste reduction, environmental chemistry, oxidant, sulfates, analytical, health effects, human health, ambient air, global climate, adsorption, community-based, socio-economic, conservation, southwest, business and transportation, RFA, Scientific Discipline, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, clean energy, energy storage options, clean technologies, automotive industry, fuel cell energy systems, proton exchange membrane fuel cell, portale power supply, engineering, alternative fuel, fuel cell design

Relevant Websites:

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report