Oct 23, 2012 - US firm HyperSolar Inc (OTC:HYSR) said Tuesday it had filed a patent application related to its protective polymer coating that, according to the developer, can significantly cut the cost of fuel cells.
The company filed the patent application for the "protection and stability of electroactive units used for production of fuels and chemicals" together with its research partner -- the University of California, Santa Barbara.
HyperSolar, whose primary efforts are focused on the production of hydrogen using only sunlight and any source of water, explained that an important part of that solar-to-hydrogen process was the stabilisation of electrodes against photocorrosion. It invented the low cost protective polymer coating to prevent photocorrosion and also boost electrical conductivity. At a later stage the company came to the conclusion that the coating could also be used in other electrocatalysis applications, including fuel and solar cells, and batteries.
In fuel cells, electrodes made from platinum or other costly materials are used to resist the corrosive effect of the chemical reactions involved. Hypesolar says that its proprietary coating can be used to protect less expensive metals that are to take the place of platinum electrodes, thus cutting fuel cell costs. "As fuel cells become more affordable, we believe the demand for our renewable hydrogen technology will increase correspondingly," commented Tim Young, chief executive of HyperSolar.
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