Nanocrystalline tungsten carbide (WC) synthesis/characterization and its possible application as a PEM fuel cell catalyst support

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.electacta.2011.12.005
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TypeArticle
Journal titleElectrochimica Acta
Volume61
Pages198206; # of pages: 9
Subjecttungsten carbide; catalyst support; oxygen reduction reaction; PEM fuel cells
AbstractNanocrystalline tungsten carbide (WC) with a high surface area and containing minimal free carbon was synthesized via a polymer route. Its physical properties, including solubility in acid solution, electronic conductivity, and thermal stability, were thoroughly studied at two elevated temperatures: 95 ◦C and 200 ◦C. Compared to commercially available WC, this in-house synthesized WC showed lower solubility in acidic media at 200 ◦C, higher electronic conductivity (comparable to that of carbon black), as well as higher thermal stability. However, this material exhibited low electrochemical stability in acidic media when subjected to potential cycling at potentials larger than 0.7 V vs. RHE, due to the electrooxidation of WC. The major product of WC electrooxidation is WO3, which was confirmed by X-ray photon spectroscopy measurements. Pt was uniformly deposited on the high surface area WC to form a 20 wt% of Pt supported catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The ORR mass activity was then obtained using the rotating disk electrode technique.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number19592022
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Record identifier161331f2-e814-4824-8629-e3cdd0fe3677
Record created2012-03-03
Record modified2016-05-09
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