Title : Carbon free supported noble metal nano structures for green energy production - challenges and perspectives
Statement of the problem: The contemporary industrial processes, as well as transportation vehicles power are based on fossil fuels usage. Intensive fossil fuel application leads to the growing environment pollution, causing the "greenhouse effect". During the 20th century the CO2 concentration increased about 20%, being the main reason for average temperature increase on Earth. This fact has already caused undesirable climate changes, connected to animal and plants biodiversity disorder, Sea level rise, melting Arctic Sea ice layers, extreme nature disasters. United Nations has recognized environment pollution effects and global actions to prevent it have already been taken. From Stockholm conference held in 1972 and Kyoto in 1997 um to Paris Climate Agreement 2015 United Nations announced several declarations to stabilize gas emission and decrease greenhouse effect. European Union has established main targets until 2050, in the frame of Climate and Energy Package, to increase alternative power sources usage and save environment for future generations. Thus, the further development of water electrolysis and fuel cells catalysts (the subject of this work), as environmental friendly, green technologies are extremely desirable, to contribute to the environment protection and sustainable development. Hydrogen – high efficiency and environmental friendly fuel, produced by water electrolysis is used in low temperature fuel cells, while oxidative agent is oxygen from air. In this work novel nanostructured materials with noble metal nanoparticles (Pt and Pd) deposited onto carbon free- titanium-oxide based supports have been investigated as the catalysts for fuel cells, promising alternative power sources. Several ceramic supports were prepared – non-stoichiometric oxides -Ebonex, Nb or Ru doped titanium oxide nanoparticles, as well as titanium oxide nanotubes supports. Physical-chemical and electrochemical characterization of these novel materials confirmed higher efficiency and long term stability to decrease the costs and increase life time of fuel cells acceptable for commercial application.