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Scientists use shape-fixing nanoreactor to make a better fuel cell catalyst

Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are lightweight fuel cells being developed for applications in vehicles and portable electronics. One of the biggest challenges facing their development is the need for expensive platinum-based catalysts. In an effort to lower the cost, scientists are looking for ways to either reduce the amount of platinum required or completely replace the platinum with a less expensive material. But so far, alternative materials have not performed nearly as well as platinum, mainly because they have fewer and less accessible "active sites"—locations where the catalyzed reactions can occur.

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