With rapid economic development, the energy demand of the world continues to grow. However, increased energy demands are often accompanied by increased environmental concerns. Catalysis is a research area which impacts energy, environment and economics in a very fundamental way.
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy to electricity without a combustion process. They have the potential of being more efficient and environmentally more friendly compared to combustion-based devices. Many of the phenomena involved in fuel cells are catalytic in nature. Catalysis also plays a major role in fuel reformulation for fuel cell applications. Examples from our ongoing work will be presented regarding catalyst development for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and catalytic fuel reforming.