Innovation Enhances Catalyst Activity in High-Energy Ethanol Fuel Cells, Enabling Long-Term Stability, Reduced Degradation

Technology #2022-003

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Yang Yang, Ph.D.
Jinfa Chang, Ph.D.
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending

Key Points

  • New strategy for designing catalysts by regulating the local coordination environment (LCE) of metal (palladium)-nitrogen-carbon catalysts
  • Method uses flourine (F) to drive N atoms away from strongly bonded C-N to the metal surface
  • Outperforms benchmarking catalysts


The University of Central Florida invention is a design strategy for discovering new materials and catalysts for energy conversion. The method seeks to regulate the local bonding and local coordination environment (LCE) of the classic metal-nitrogen-carbon (M-N-C) catalysts by infusing fluorine (F)-coordination. As a result, the rationally designed catalyst shows a maximum power density of 0.57 W cm-2 and more than 5,900 hours of operation in direct ethanol fuel cells, outperforming benchmarking catalysts. The tactic of F-induced LCE regulation can be applied to other catalysts with drastically improved activities and stabilities.


  • Versatile
  • Enhances the catalyst durability by inhibiting the migration and agglomeration of Palladium (Pd)
  • Provides carbon support with long-term anti-corrosion property

Market Application

  • Electric vehicle industry
  • Portable power supplies