ENEA Workshop

ENEA Logo MU Logo

Progress in Metal Hydrogen Systems for Energy Applications

ENEA, the University of Missouri, NRL and SRI are cooperating within the frame of an International Project supported by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Joint Declaration following the 10th Review Conference on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Italy and the United States of America for the years 2011-2013). The research field is on Metal Hydrogen Systems for Energy Applications.

The research project is oriented to improve the electrochemical processes involving hydrogen as energy vector. The functional effects of specific materials, characterized by a very high chemical activity and large mass transfer for hydrogen, have been investigated in order to have enhanced  hydrogen  kinetics . The material science involved in such a study is strongly in touch with the scientific program of ICC-18. The proposed approach is to develop properly shaped and structured layers of active metals to be nested on the electrodes, in order to optimize the effect of the surface morphology on the electrodes kinetics. The cooperation between ENEA and University of Missouri was officially activated by the Project. The exchange of scientist visits from the beginning of the Project up to now is quantified in more than 100 days by considering both Countries.

The joint work performed within a stable cooperative frame, provided by the Project, gives the proper conditions for improving the technological and scientific relations between the Italian and American institutions.

Acknowledgments are due to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN .

Dr. Vittorio Violante, Organizer
“Notes on The ENEA-University of Missouri NRL-SRI International Research Activities”
ENEA, University of Missouri, NRL and SRI are cooperating within the frame of an International Program. The research field is on Metal Hydrogen Systems for Energy Applications and is oriented to develop nanostructured materials to be used into electrochemical devices and to study the Fleischmann and Pons Effect. Progress in material science and improvement in controlling the effect is presented.

Dr. Emanuele Castagna
“Electrocatalytic properties of Pd-based nano-structured material for application in fuel cells”
Fuel cells, especially low temperature fuel cells, are clean-energy devices that have high potentiality for use in electric power production and non-polluting vehicles. Platinum is commonly used as electrocatalysts in fuel cell electrodes, because of its excellent electrocatalytic activity and chemical stability. But, because of its high cost and limited resources, its use represents a bottleneck for large-scale application and commercialization of fuel cells. Palladium could be a good substitute for Pt, because of its similar chemical and physical properties, lower cost and higher abundance. Main challenges concern the development of Pd-based materials with high catalytic activity and durability at a reduced cost (i.e. metal content). Crucial technological issue is the optimization of the active surface of the catalysts, by the control of the morphology, shape and dispersion of the metal particles.

The talk will describe the main results of the research activity carried out during the second year of the Italia-USA Bilateral Project in ENEA, concerning the fabrication and characterization of different kinds of nanostructured Pd-based electrocatalysts, by using both electrochemical and vacuum thin film deposition techniques.

Dr. Robert Duncan
“New Nuclear Phenomena in Condensed Matter Systems”

There have been many new observations of nuclear phenomena in condensed matter systems over the last decade, and these phenomena fall into at least two distinct types. One type uses novel condensed matter physics to produce conditions where conventional hydrogen isotope fusion is observed. The second distinct type of new phenomena produces excess heat without particle radiation. We have been exploring a wide variety of nuclear phenomena that may be responsible for this second type of observations, and we have been attempting to understand the materials correlates that cause this second type of phenomena to be manifest. I will summarize both types of new phenomena, and offer some initial hypotheses and future experimental directions that we are pursuing now.

Dr. Graham Hubler

Dr. Michael McKubre
“Flux Effects in Metal Hydrogen Loading: Enhanced Mass Transfer”