For years, scientists have been working on a serious conundrum when it comes to energy storage: how do you create a storage device that is both efficient and cost-effective? Two types of storage devices: fuel cells and electrolyzers, have used platinum and noble metals energy conversion efficiency. But now it looks like a much cheaper option is on the horizon.

Rutgers chemistry professors Charles Dismukes and Martha Greenblatt developed a nickel-phosphide compound (Ni5P4) that has promising potential to replace platinum in fuel cells and electrolyzers. They published their findings on the patent-pending technology in the March edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Energy & Environmental Science.


“Scientists have been working for years to develop low-cost replacements for platinum and other noble metals used in these devices,” Greenblatt said in a press release. “Ni5P4 is the most promising new material presently available that combines both the energy conversion efficiency of noble metals, yet is much more affordable based on the high natural abundance of its elements – over a million times greater than platinum.”

Rutgers has partnered with Proton OnSite, a commercial manufacturer of electrolyzers, to test this new material. SOFI has played a role in connecting the two, as Rutgers is an academic member of the SOFI consortium, and Proton OnSite is an industry partner. SOFI is partnering with Proton OnSite on our Demo Project.

You can bet we’re going to keep our eye on this promising technology and this exciting partnership between Rutgers and Proton OnSite.