Researchers at the Korean UNIST have announced that they have successfully developed a new way to increase energy efficiency of perovskite-based metal-air batteries by using a conducting polymer.

In the cathode of metal-air batteries or fuel cells, oxygen is reduced to metal oxide or water. Catalysts are required to accelerate the reaction. While platinum is an efficient choice, its high price remains a problem. In the study, the team reported that catalytic activity of a provskite material which can be used as a substitute to platinum was dramatically enhanced by simply adding a kind of conducting polymer, polypyrrole.

When the perovskite or polypyrrole are used alone, they are not efficient enough to compete with platinum. However, as a result of mixing perovksite with polypyrrole, the activity was dramatically enhanced, to the point of reaching that of platinum.