Dr. Elbaz Lior Bar Ilan University

Dr. Lior Elbaz has a BSc, MSc and PhD in chemical engineering, all from the Ben-Gurion University, Israel. During his graduate studies, he became an expert in electrochemistry and electrocatalysis. He used his expertise to develop tumor targeting drugs, solar cells and fuel cells. After finishing his PhD, he joined the MPA-11 group, at the Materials Physics & Applications Division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, a world leader in the development of fuel cell technology, where he developed new catalysts and advanced materials for fuel cells, in order to reduce fuel cells price and increase their durability. After almost four years at Los Alamos, Lior came back to Israel to take a position at the Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University. After returning to Israel, Lior decided to found the Israeli fuel cells consortium, composed of 12 leading Israeli labs and generously funded by the Israeli prime minister’s office.

In his work Lior is trying to tackle the two top hurdles in fuel cells technology: Durability and Cost. Durability, as the US-DOE describes it, is the biggest hurdle. Lior has been developing new, advanced materials, mostly based on porous, high surface-area, conductive ceramic materials which show significant durability when compared to the common carbonaceous materials used today. Lior is also developing methodologies to study corrosion in fuel cells, by studying the material’s strengths and weaknesses and exposing them to extreme, yet realistic operating conditions to simulate degradation which will take place over several years in only a few days. These projects are currently applied by his industrial partners. Lior is also developing catalysts, mainly for oxygen reduction, based on ultra-low loading Pt. He is also developing biomimetic non-precious metal group catalysts based on relatively new and exciting transition metal complexes: metallo-corroles. These are considered today to be among the state-of-the-art molecular catalysts for oxygen reduction. Lior has recently developed new catalysts for dimethyl ether direct electro-oxidation in fuel cells. These discoveries resulted in an applied patent and a new Israeli startup company which was recently established.