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Researchers design cost-effective fuel cells

A Tufts research team has been awarded a $1.23 million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue work on the development of catalysts for cost-effective hydrogen fuel cells.

portrait of the saltzbergs
Howard Saltsburg and Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos © Mark Morelli

Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, professor of chemical and biological engineering, is the principal investigator on the team that has proven that hydrogen fuel cells can be manufactured using far less platinum or gold than previously thought—a discovery that can drastically cut the cost of making low-temperature fuel cells.

Joining Flytzani-Stephanopoulos on the project are Howard Saltsburg, research professor, and Regina Valluzzi, assistant research professor, both in chemical and biological engineering. The team also includes Terry Haas, professor of chemistry.

As part of the four-year grant, the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts will teach high school teachers about the research, and both graduate and undergraduate students will have the opportunity to do hands-on work in making materials to be tested in an industrial setting.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos, Saltsburg and doctoral student Qi Fu have submitted a patent application for their research.