Innovation Spotlight: Core-Shell Structured Bifunctional Catalysts for Metal-Air Battery-Fuel Cell

September 25, 2012 06:08 PM EST By: Jennifer Rocha

University of Waterloo’s technology could bring up to three times the energy density of current conventional Li-ion systems.

The technology focuses on the development of the ideal core/corona structured bifunctional catalysts for the air electrode of metal-air batteries and fuel cells.  The proposed core/corona structured bifunctional catalyst has been tested in a rechargeable Zinc-Air battery, resulting in a battery system showing three times capacity of a commercial lithium-ion battery. Over 900 cycles of charging have been achieved at high current for a small catalyst loading. 

A prototype has been developed, and Saeed Bagheri, Technology Transfer Officer at the University of Waterloo, Canada, tells TechConnect News that since presenting at the June TechConnect World conference in Silicon Valley, CA, three corporate venture capital firms showed initial interest in the technology, and one NDA was signed right after the event.  He notes the research team is continuing to meet technical milestones and would raise the overall value of the technology.  The long-term goal is to create a start-up venture with this novel technology in the next 12 months. 

Saeed noted to us the benefits of participating at TechConnect.  “I have attended TechConnect for five years now.  It’s the level of participation by global players-companies that have a positive impact on taking the technology to the markets-which brings us back.  We are able to present to companies that are influential and have a major market share in their space.” 

To learn more about this technology and the University of Waterloo Technology Transfer Office, visit:

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