The World Gold Council (WGC) has welcomed a new paper from researchers at MIT that demonstrates how rechargeable lithium-air batteries can be significantly more efficient by using a catalyst that consists of nanoparticles of a gold and platinum alloy. This could be a significant step toward making these high-energy-density batteries practical for use in new electric vehicles.
The paper was published this week in the leading Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Commenting Dr Richard Holliday, Director - Industrial at the WGC said, This is another demonstration of the emerging uses of gold in new clean energy power sources. It follows the development of Au Nanoclad, a gold based coating developed by Ford Motor Company, for use in fuel cells1, which used thin gold-coated stainless steel to improve electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance in fuel cell separator plates. With this new research both fuel cell and electric powered vehicles might one day be using gold.
There are several industrial sectors currently using gold in critical applications including medicine, dentistry and electronics.
There are also many new emerging uses for gold, particularly in the field of nanotechnology including pollution control catalysts, fuel cells, functional coatings and medical diagnostics.
The WGC recently published Gold for Good: Gold and nanotechnology in the age of innovation2, a white paper detailing new scientific and technological innovations using gold.
The report, which was featured in Nature Nanotechnology, described how gold exhibits a variety of unique properties which, when harnessed and manipulated effectively, leads to uses that are both far-ranging in their potential and cost effective.
The report explored the many different applications that are being developed across the fields of health, medicine and the environment.