Pajarito Powder Recipient of 2017 SBIR Research Grant

Pajarito Powder’s Blog

Pajarito Powder Recipient of 2017 SBIR Research Grant

June 14th, 2017 • Posted by PPCPermalink

Pajarito Powder is proud to announce that it is a recipient of a Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant for 2017. As an SBIR grant recipient, Pajarito Powder ranks among a small number of firms who have been Federally recognized for their potential to improve existing technologies surrounding fuel cell catalysts.

The SBIR Grant, awarded by a subsidiary of the U.S. Department of Energy, is intended for small businesses that have the potential to stimulate technological innovation and meet Federal R&D goals. The grant can be awarded in three phases; Phase I is meant to demonstrate a successful proof-of-concept, with those who succeed receiving a larger award in Phase II. Phase III is for technologies that have advanced enough to where they are ready for commercialization.

Pajarito Powder was awarded a Phase I grant for its potential to develop, implement and scale-up an innovative approach to building Durable Active Carbon Support systems (DACSs). The DACSs are heavily modified Precious-Metal-Free catalysts that, because of their sophisticated composition, reduce the overall amount of platinum needed. Dr. Alexey Serov, Chief Scientist at Pajarito Powder, says that the team’s approach will reduce “both carbon corrosion and platinum dissolution, increasing the overall durability of the fuel cell”.

Successful execution on the proof-of-concept in Phase I will allow Pajarito Powder to apply for Phase II of SBIR funding. “This project fits nicely with our core competencies as a company, and that’s great”, commented Dr. Alia Lubers, Pajarito Powder’s Catalyst Manufacturing Manager.


Dr. Alexey Serov to present at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 DOE Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluations Meeting

Pajarito Powder’s Blog

Dr. Alexey Serov to present at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 DOE Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluations Meeting

June 1st, 2017 • Posted by PPC • Permalink

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 2017 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting (AMR) for the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and the Vehicle Technologies Office will be held on June 5–9, 2017, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C.  Pajarito Powder’s Alexey Serov will present, sharing results of the second and final year of his project on “Development of PGM-free Catalysts for Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction in Alkaline Media,” awarded for June 2015 through August 2017.

He will be presenting on Wednesday, June 7th, at 3:15 PM.
This project is a joint development of PGM-free anodic materials for hydrogen oxidation (University of New Mexico), scaling up synthesis of these materials (Pajarito Powder), making new anion exchange ionomer (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and finally integration of catalysts and ionomers into Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (AEMFC) electrode (EWII Fuel Cell, LLC). During the first year, the team showed steady progress on making Ni-based anodes with state-of-the-art performance in HOR determined by Rotating Disk Electrode. All milestones and Go/No-Go decisions were successfully passed by members of Dr. Serov’s team, which resulted in high score evaluations by peer reviewers.

To view the report, please visit here.

This year’s presentation will be devoted to results of Membrane Electrode Assembly development, design of catalytic layer, and understanding of the water management in AEMFCs. Alexey will show the performance of AEMFCs operated at selected fuel cell conditions which are at least 4 times higher than any previously published data.

For more details on AMR, please visit.


Highly stable PGM-free cathode catalyst paper published

Pajarito Powder's Blog

Highly stable PGM-free cathode catalyst paper published

August 4th, 2016 • Posted by Pajarito Powder • Permalink

Members of the Pajarito Powder technical team and professors from the University of New Mexico contributed to an article published in the Journal of Power Sources.

“Highly stable precious metal free cathode catalyst for fuel cell application,”  will appear in the September issue of the academic publication.

The highlights of the article touch on the highly stable PGM-free synthesized cathode catalysts and how  their morphology influences activity and stability.

The abstract details the nature of the findings:

"A platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst engineered for stability has been synthesized using the sacrificial support method (SSM). This catalyst was comprehensively characterized by physiochemical analyses and tested for performance and durability in fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). This catalyst, belonging to the family of Fe-N-C materials, is easily scalable and can be manufactured in batches up to 200 g. The fuel cell durability tests were performed in a single cell configuration at realistic operating conditions of 0.65 V, 1.25 atmgauge air, and 90% RH for 100 h. In-depth characterization of surface chemistry and morphology of the catalyst layer before and after durability tests were performed. The failure modes of the PGM-free electrodes were derived from structure-to-property correlations. It is suggested that under constant voltage operation, the performance loss results from degradation of the electrode pore structure, while under carbon corrosion accelerated test protocols the failure mode is catalyst corrosion.”

Authors of the article include Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanasov, members of Pajarito Powder’s Technical Advisory Board, Michael J. Workmana, Kateryna Artyushkova, as well as Pajarito Powder CEO & Chairman, Tom Stephenson, CTO & President, Barr Halevi, and contributing staff members Geoffrey McCool, Sam McKinney, & Henry Romero.

The article is currently available, for 30 days, for free at the Journal of Power Sources: