Stephen Wong, 2019, Chemical and Biological Engineering

20 2017 Environmental Research Experiences Alternative Energy I examined cobalt phosphide (Co-P) surfaces for use as low-cost catalysts in hydrogen cells. Hydrogen cells represent a promising field of energy storage for use with intermittent renewable energy such as wind and solar power. These fuel cells utilize energy and specialized catalysts to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen. Cobalt phosphides represent a low-cost alternative to the current hydrogen catalyst, platinum. My work focused on fine-tuning the procedure required for the deposition of cobalt-phosphide films. I examined film samples under an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer to determine their surface compositions. I also tested successful films to determine their effectiveness as hydrogen catalysts. Furthermore, I assisted in the design of equipment that will be used in the lab to study the fundamental reactions occurring during hydrogen conversion. During this project, I learned how to properly use and troubleshoot electrodeposition to produce desired films. I also gained experience in surface analysis of both composition and catalytic activity. I learned more about the potential available to those who enter this field of research, and I feel this project gave me further insight into the field of efficient energy storage.