"Scientists have been working for years to develop low-cost replacements for platinum and other noble metals used in these devices," Greenblatt said. "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."
The researchers believe that Ni5P4 should lower the material costs of both electrolyzers and fuel cells, while maintaining the efficiencies of these technologies for electrical conversion. "These devices are two key technological advances that could open the door to renewable fuels produced from sustainable feedstocks - water and sunlight," Dismukes said.
The next step for the research is to test the operating stability and efficiency of the compound over extended time periods in commercial electrolyzers and fuel cells. As these devices have different requirements for operation, independent tests for both will be needed. Rutgers has partnered with Proton OnSite of Wallingford, Conn., a commercial manufacturer of electrolyzers, to test Ni5P4 as an appropriate HER catalyst.
For the complete article: http://www.labmanager.com/news/2015/03/chemistry-research-holds-great-promise-for-advancing-sustainable-energy?fw1pk=2#.VRGCTfnF_5E