Fuel Cell Champion, Byron McCormick: Unthrottling the catalyst a key to next generation fuel cell

Pajarito Powder’s Blog

Fuel Cell Champion, Byron McCormick: Unthrottling the catalyst a key to next generation fuel cell

April 26th, 2017 • Posted by PPC • Permalink

Recently, Pajarito Powder board member and founding father of General Motor’s fuel cell program, Dr. J. Byron McCormick commented via LinkedIn on the needs surrounding the development of next generation fuel cells and their broader market adoption. A key: unthrottling the catalyst.

McCormick, who began his work on fuel cells as a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, mentioned that work on Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells began over 40 years ago. His comments cite the difficulties surrounding catalysis in fuel cells – the complex nature of moving reactants, including managing the transport of the byproduct water in an effort to avoid the blocking or flooding of sites, and how electrons must connect in the cell with low impedance.

McCormick enthused, “Engineered [Catalyst] Supports from Pajarito Powder enable this for the system’s chosen operating conditions. Customers are finding on the cathode side much higher performance, smaller stack size (lower cost) and longer life.” On the anode side of the stack, he added that, “…early results show more durability by minimizing the corrosive impacts of start-up/shut-down cycles [which could contribute to] simpler balance of plant and controls…” His conclusion was that the specific engineering of the often-overlooked catalyst support accrues substantial benefit – amounting to the “unthrottling” of the catalyst for modern, high-performance fuel cell systems.

His comments came about in response to a post by Kerry-Ann Adamson of 4th Wave Energy, who has identified Pajarito Powder as a company to watch.

Pajarito Powder, LLC exhibits for the fourth time at Hannover Messe, the world’s foremost trade fair for industrial technology, taking place this week, in Hannover, Germany.

Pajarito Powder’s booth is located in the HYDROGEN+ FUEL CELL+BATTERIES Group Exhibit (“H2FC”), in Hall 27, Booth number B76.