The influence of Pt loading, support and nafion content on the performance of direct methanol fuel cells: examined on the example of the cathode

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/fuce.200900204
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TypeArticle
Journal titleFuel Cells
Volume11
Issue2
Pages286300; # of pages: 15
SubjectCathode; DMFC; nafion; Pt/Vulcan Catalyst; supported Catalyst
AbstractNano-sized Pt colloids were prepared using the polyol method and supported on Ketjen black EC 600J (KB), Vulcan XC-72 (VC) and high surface area graphite 300 (HG). The effects of the Nafion ionomer content, and the Pt loading of the cathode catalyst layer as well as the Pt loading on the support on the performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), were studied. The membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were analysed using current–voltage curves, cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and adsorbed CO stripping voltammetry. Optimum Nafion to carbon (N/C) ratios (N/C being defined as the weight ratio of the Nafion ionomer to the carbon) were determined. The optimum N/C ratios were found to depend on the support as follows, 1.4, 0.7 and 0.5 for Pt/KB, Pt/VC and Pt/HG, respectively and to be independent of the Pt/C loading range of 20–80 wt% tested in this work. The highest DMFC performances, as well as the highest electrochemical active surface areas, and improved gas diffusivities, were achieved using these ratios. For the catalysts prepared in this work, the average Pt crystallite size was found to decrease with increasing surface area of the support for a particular Pt loading. MEAs made using KB as support and the optimal N/C ratio of 1.4 showed the best performances, i.e. higher than the VC and HG supports for any N/C ratio. The highest DMFC performance was observed using 60 wt% Pt on KB cathode electrodes of 1 mg Pt cm⁻² loading and an N/C value of 1.4. For all three supports studied, the 60 wt% Pt on carbon loading resulted in the best DMFC performance. This may be linked to the Pt particle size and catalyst preparation method used in this work. In comparison to literature results, high DMFC performances were achieved using relatively ‘low’ Pt and Ru loadings. For example, a maximum power density of >100 mW cm⁻² at 60 °C was observed using a 1 mg Pt cm⁻² cathode loading and a 2 mg PtRu cm⁻² anode loading.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number52842
NPARC number18397745
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Record identifierf6c67370-5cf6-4cde-84a1-edcd5cf0904b
Record created2011-08-09
Record modified2016-05-09
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