Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the University of Houston (UH) have developed a new platinum-based catalyst for fuel cells that is at least four times more efficient and cheaper than existing catalysts. This discovery in fuel cell research may ease reliance on gasoline. According to the researchers, the active phase of the catalyst consists of nanoparticles with a platinum-rich shell and a core made of an alloy of copper, cobalt, and platinum. But it's not enough for this new catalyst to be more efficient and cheaper than a pure platinum one. It also needs to work for a long time — say, the life of a car. So far, the preliminary results look promising, but longer-term testing is needed before this kind of fuel cells can be used to power your car."