Industry Milestone to Deeply Impact OEM and Consumer Marketplace While Reshaping the Platinum Group Metal Catalyst Landscape
QuantumSphere, Inc., the leading manufacturer of metallic nanopowders for applications in aerospace, defense, energy and other markets demanding advanced material applications, announced (“QSI- nano™ Ni/Co alloy”) as a clear replacement solution for the platinum electrode market. QuantumSphere is the only supplier of the world’s highest quality metallic nanomaterials including QSI- nano™ Ni/Co and other proprietary alloys. Independent validation, provided by DoppStein Enterprises, Inc. (DSE) regarding this development, poses a serious issue for platinum suppliers in the platinum group metal catalyst market, as QSI- nano™ Ni/Co alloy will alleviate dependency on platinum as the main catalytic material in a variety of battery and fuel cell applications– while presenting tremendous business and cost savings advantages for companies.
A shift from finely divided platinum to QSI- nano™ Ni/Co alloy results in a reduction in the cost of fuel cell and battery catalysts by approximately 50%, while achieving up to 90% of pure platinum performance, based on current prices. Conversely, a 90% cost savings will result in a remarkable 73% performance relative to pure platinum.
“By adopting our product, QuantumSphere enables companies to provide new product offerings in the marketplace and increase their revenue,” said Kevin Maloney, CEO, QuantumSphere, Inc. “For example, we have spoken with many firms that are frustrated by the fact that products using small fuel cells or batteries face a problem– up to 40% of the total product cost is derived from the expense of the catalyst. By using our QSI- nano™ Ni/Co alloy product, QuantumSphere can reduce the total device cost significantly. This opens up an exciting range of new business opportunities for companies that want to offer new products to customers but were previously hindered by the cost that platinum imposed on the OEM and final product price. Additionally, the method of making these materials is highly scalable and fully automated. QSI- nano™ Ni/Co alloy will liberate companies from their dependence on platinum, lower the cost of production and increase profit margins, enabling firms to offer new products at a price point that will be accepted in the market,” Maloney added.
DoppStein Enterprises, Inc., conducted experiments and provided independent scientific data to validate QuantumSphere’s achievement. “After months of working to evaluate and validate QuantumSphere’s product and manufacturing capabilities, I can finally state with full confidence that oxygen reduction catalysis on cathode electrodes using QuantumSphere’s nano-sized nickel/cobalt alloy material has been unambiguously demonstrated,” said Robert Dopp, President, DSE. “This catalyst can be used in a variety of practical batteries and fuel cells, including Li-ion, Zn/air, PEMFC and DMFC. One fundamental issue of fuel cells is the reliance on platinum as catalyst. For a cost comparison, finely divided platinum (currently $75.00/gram in bulk) costs approximately 5 times as much as QuantumSphere’s nano-Ni/Co alloy catalyst (currently $15.00/gram). This translates into a large reduction in total device cost. Implementation of this new technology incorporating QSI-nano™ Ni/Co alloy in the alternative energy sector has the potential to dramatically accelerate commercialization of these micro devices,” Dopp added.
Confirmation of catalysis was accomplished through a series of experiments where nanocatalysts were used alone and in conjunction with varying amounts of platinum. “Not only are QuantumSphere’s catalysts active alone, they also enhance the activity of platinum when combined with various QSI-Nano™ materials. Compared with a pure platinum catalyzed cathode, QuantumSphere’s metallic nanoparticles show up to 90% of the catalytic activity,” Dopp commented. “The activity was demonstrated using electrochemical techniques and impedance spectroscopy. This was the first clear verification and will be followed by a series of optimization experiments that are targeted at meeting or exceeding the activity of high surface area platinum catalyzed cathodes. The impact of these findings is enormous, as it reveals that nanocatalysts prepared by QuantumSphere’s proprietary methods have the potential to partially or fully replace platinum (a $10-$12 billion market, annually), one of the most expensive and scarce electrode components,” Dopp concluded. White papers will be released in Q1, 2006.