Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells

Sune Veltzé, Mikkel Juul Larsen, Yli-Rantala Elina, Eivind Morten Skou

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

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Abstract

In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) a fuel—usually hydrogen—and oxygen are combined to produce electricity and water in an electrochemical process, which is commonly carried out at 60–80 °C. For oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation to occur at such low temperatures platinum or platinum-alloy catalysts in the electrodes are required. To maximize the utilization of the noble metal it is frequently deposited as nanoparticles (1–5 nm) on a stabilizing support of carbon black. Carbon black provides good anchoring of the catalyst particles, but is prone to severe destructive oxidation at high electrical potentials encountered occasionally in fuel cells. Other nanostructures of carbon are being investigated as alternatives to carbon black as they have several beneficial properties. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MW-CNT) are an example of one type of these promising materials. Like carbon black they can conduct electrons to and from the reaction sites, and in addition their resistance to electrochemical degradation is better than that of carbon black due to their much higher structural perfection.
This latter feature is indeed highly desired with a view to the durability of the fuel-cell electrodes. However, the low concentration of structural defects also poses challenges with regard to anchoring of the catalyst particles on the CNT surface. Thus, activation treatments introducing surface functional groups may be necessary.
Also, the surface properties are responsible for difficulties in contacting the nanotubes with other substances in the electrode or electrode preparation. Other promising candidate structures for catalyst support include carbon nanofibers (CNF) and various modifications of CNTs.
We present some of our work with the investigation of surface properties that are relevant for the preparation of fuel-cell electrodes with increased durability. This includes adsorption studies and studies of the role of the surface structure in the generation of materials-deteriorating reaction intermediates during the electrocatalytic processes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date15. Jun 2011
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15. Jun 2011
EventEiCOON workshop and summer school - Espoo, Finland
Duration: 13. Jun 201117. Jun 2011

Workshop

WorkshopEiCOON workshop and summer school
CountryFinland
CityEspoo
Period13/06/201117/06/2011

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Soot
Carbon Nanotubes
Precious metals
Catalyst supports
Fuel cells
Nanostructures
Electrodes
Catalysts
Surface properties
Durability
Platinum alloys
Oxygen
Reaction intermediates
Oxidation
Carbon nanofibers
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC)
Platinum
Surface structure
Nanotubes
Functional groups

Cite this

Veltzé, S., Larsen, M. J., Elina, Y-R., & Skou, E. M. (2011). Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells. Poster session presented at EiCOON workshop and summer school, Espoo, Finland.
Veltzé, Sune ; Larsen, Mikkel Juul ; Elina, Yli-Rantala ; Skou, Eivind Morten. / Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells. Poster session presented at EiCOON workshop and summer school, Espoo, Finland.1 p.
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abstract = "In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) a fuel—usually hydrogen—and oxygen are combined to produce electricity and water in an electrochemical process, which is commonly carried out at 60–80 °C. For oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation to occur at such low temperatures platinum or platinum-alloy catalysts in the electrodes are required. To maximize the utilization of the noble metal it is frequently deposited as nanoparticles (1–5 nm) on a stabilizing support of carbon black. Carbon black provides good anchoring of the catalyst particles, but is prone to severe destructive oxidation at high electrical potentials encountered occasionally in fuel cells. Other nanostructures of carbon are being investigated as alternatives to carbon black as they have several beneficial properties. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MW-CNT) are an example of one type of these promising materials. Like carbon black they can conduct electrons to and from the reaction sites, and in addition their resistance to electrochemical degradation is better than that of carbon black due to their much higher structural perfection. This latter feature is indeed highly desired with a view to the durability of the fuel-cell electrodes. However, the low concentration of structural defects also poses challenges with regard to anchoring of the catalyst particles on the CNT surface. Thus, activation treatments introducing surface functional groups may be necessary. Also, the surface properties are responsible for difficulties in contacting the nanotubes with other substances in the electrode or electrode preparation. Other promising candidate structures for catalyst support include carbon nanofibers (CNF) and various modifications of CNTs. We present some of our work with the investigation of surface properties that are relevant for the preparation of fuel-cell electrodes with increased durability. This includes adsorption studies and studies of the role of the surface structure in the generation of materials-deteriorating reaction intermediates during the electrocatalytic processes.",
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Veltzé, S, Larsen, MJ, Elina, Y-R & Skou, EM 2011, 'Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells', EiCOON workshop and summer school, Espoo, Finland, 13/06/2011 - 17/06/2011.

Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells. / Veltzé, Sune ; Larsen, Mikkel Juul; Elina, Yli-Rantala; Skou, Eivind Morten.

2011. Poster session presented at EiCOON workshop and summer school, Espoo, Finland.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPosterResearch

TY - CONF

T1 - Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells

AU - Veltzé, Sune

AU - Larsen, Mikkel Juul

AU - Elina, Yli-Rantala

AU - Skou, Eivind Morten

PY - 2011/6/15

Y1 - 2011/6/15

N2 - In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) a fuel—usually hydrogen—and oxygen are combined to produce electricity and water in an electrochemical process, which is commonly carried out at 60–80 °C. For oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation to occur at such low temperatures platinum or platinum-alloy catalysts in the electrodes are required. To maximize the utilization of the noble metal it is frequently deposited as nanoparticles (1–5 nm) on a stabilizing support of carbon black. Carbon black provides good anchoring of the catalyst particles, but is prone to severe destructive oxidation at high electrical potentials encountered occasionally in fuel cells. Other nanostructures of carbon are being investigated as alternatives to carbon black as they have several beneficial properties. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MW-CNT) are an example of one type of these promising materials. Like carbon black they can conduct electrons to and from the reaction sites, and in addition their resistance to electrochemical degradation is better than that of carbon black due to their much higher structural perfection. This latter feature is indeed highly desired with a view to the durability of the fuel-cell electrodes. However, the low concentration of structural defects also poses challenges with regard to anchoring of the catalyst particles on the CNT surface. Thus, activation treatments introducing surface functional groups may be necessary. Also, the surface properties are responsible for difficulties in contacting the nanotubes with other substances in the electrode or electrode preparation. Other promising candidate structures for catalyst support include carbon nanofibers (CNF) and various modifications of CNTs. We present some of our work with the investigation of surface properties that are relevant for the preparation of fuel-cell electrodes with increased durability. This includes adsorption studies and studies of the role of the surface structure in the generation of materials-deteriorating reaction intermediates during the electrocatalytic processes.

AB - In polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) a fuel—usually hydrogen—and oxygen are combined to produce electricity and water in an electrochemical process, which is commonly carried out at 60–80 °C. For oxygen reduction and fuel oxidation to occur at such low temperatures platinum or platinum-alloy catalysts in the electrodes are required. To maximize the utilization of the noble metal it is frequently deposited as nanoparticles (1–5 nm) on a stabilizing support of carbon black. Carbon black provides good anchoring of the catalyst particles, but is prone to severe destructive oxidation at high electrical potentials encountered occasionally in fuel cells. Other nanostructures of carbon are being investigated as alternatives to carbon black as they have several beneficial properties. Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MW-CNT) are an example of one type of these promising materials. Like carbon black they can conduct electrons to and from the reaction sites, and in addition their resistance to electrochemical degradation is better than that of carbon black due to their much higher structural perfection. This latter feature is indeed highly desired with a view to the durability of the fuel-cell electrodes. However, the low concentration of structural defects also poses challenges with regard to anchoring of the catalyst particles on the CNT surface. Thus, activation treatments introducing surface functional groups may be necessary. Also, the surface properties are responsible for difficulties in contacting the nanotubes with other substances in the electrode or electrode preparation. Other promising candidate structures for catalyst support include carbon nanofibers (CNF) and various modifications of CNTs. We present some of our work with the investigation of surface properties that are relevant for the preparation of fuel-cell electrodes with increased durability. This includes adsorption studies and studies of the role of the surface structure in the generation of materials-deteriorating reaction intermediates during the electrocatalytic processes.

M3 - Poster

ER -

Veltzé S, Larsen MJ, Elina Y-R, Skou EM. Carbon nanotubes and other nanostructures as support material for nanoparticulate noble-metal catalysts in fuel cells. 2011. Poster session presented at EiCOON workshop and summer school, Espoo, Finland.