Thursday, March 22, 2012

US Patent 8137750 - Catalytic gold on thermally treated nanoporous supports

This patent from 3M is relevant to membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) of fuel cells and teaches how thermally treated nanoparticles can provide physical adsorption of carbon monoxide so as to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of making a catalyst system, comprising the steps of:

a) providing a plurality of nanoparticles;

b) incorporating the nanoparticles into a support, wherein the nanoparticles are present as clusters of aggregated nanoparticles; and

c) using physical vapor deposition techniques to deposit catalytically active gold onto the support, wherein the nanoparticles have been subjected to a thermal treatment.