In terms of international pricing benchmarks, according to the CP data released by Saudi Aramco, the propane contract price (CP) in March was $895 / ton, up $120 / ton from the previous month, up 15.48% from the previous month and up 43.20% from the same period last year. Butane contract price (CP) in March was 920 US dollars/ton, up 145 US dollars/ton compared with last month, up 18.71% month-on-month, up 54.62% compared with the same period last year; In March, CP in Saudi Arabia rose sharply, giving a strong boost to the international and domestic LPG market. Benchmark LPG prices are higher than a year ago as the economy continues to recover and demand for crude oil continues to repair. According to this trend, the market price of graphene powder will also be affected to a certain extent.
Although hydrogen fuel is a promising alternative to fossil fuels, the catalyst it relies on for power generation is mainly composed of rare and expensive metal platinum, which limits the wide commercialization of hydrogen fuel. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles reported a way to enable them to meet and exceed the goals set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for high catalyst performance, high stability, and low platinum utilization.
The record-breaking technique uses tiny crystals of platinum-cobalt alloy, each embedded in a nano-bag made of graphene.
Compared with the DOE catalyst standard, graphene-coated alloys produced extraordinary results: 75 times higher catalytic activity; 65% higher power; about 20% higher catalytic activity at the end of the fuel cell's expected life; about 35% lower power loss after 7000 hours of simulated use of 6000 ran, exceeding the target of 5000 hours for the first time; and almost 40% less platinum needed per car.
Graphene-coated alloys produced extraordinary results: 75 times higher catalytic activity and 65% higher power. At the end of the expected life of the fuel cell, the catalytic activity increased by about 20%, and the power loss was reduced by about 35% after 7000 hours of simulated use, exceeding the target of 5000 hours for the first time.
Today, half of the world's total supply of platinum and similar metals is used in catalytic converters for fossil fuel-powered cars, which can reduce the harmfulness of their emissions. Each car needs 2 Mel and 8 grams of platinum. By contrast, current hydrogen fuel cell technology consumes about 36 grams of platinum per vehicle. At the minimum platinum load tested by the research team, only 6.8 grams of platinum were needed for each hydrogen-powered vehicle.
So how do researchers get more energy from less platinum? They decomposed the platinum-based catalyst into particles with an average length of 3 nanometers. Smaller particles mean a larger surface area and more room for catalytic activity. However, smaller particles tend to squeeze together to form larger particles.
The team solved this limitation by loading their catalyst particles into the 2D material graphene. Compared with the bulk carbon commonly found in coal or pencil lead, this thin carbon layer has amazing capacity, conducts electricity and heat efficiently, and is 100 times stronger than steel of similar thickness.
Their platinum-cobalt alloy is reduced to particles. Before being integrated into fuel cells, these particles are surrounded by graphene nano-bags, which also act as an anchor to prevent particle migration, which is necessary for the level of durability required for commercial vehicles. At the same time, graphene allows a tiny gap of about 1 nanometer around each catalyst nanoparticles, which means that critical electrochemical reactions may occur.
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Commodities such as crude oil, wheat, cotton, and nickel have rallied since Russia's "special military operations" began in late February. On the last trading day of this quarter, commodities were on track for their biggest gain since 1990. For this reason, it is expected that the price of the graphene powder will continue to increase.
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