Oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation behaviour of SiC based Pt nanocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Rajnish Dhiman, Serban Nicolae Stamatin, Shuang Ma Andersen, Per Morgen, Eivind Morten Skou

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Research with proton exchange membrane fuel cells has demonstrated their potential as important providers of clean energy. The commercialization of this type of fuel cell needs a breakthrough in the electrocatalyst technology to reduce the relatively large amount of noble metal platinum used with the present carbon based substrates. We have recently examined suitably sized silicon carbide (SiC) particles as catalyst supports for fuel cells based on the stable chemical and mechanical properties of this material. In the present study, we have continued our work with studies of the oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation reactions of SiC supported catalysts and measured them against commercially available carbon based catalysts. The deconvolution of the hydrogen desorption signals in CV cycles shows a higher contribution of Pt (110) and Pt (111) peaks compared to Pt (100) for SiC based supports than for carbon based commercial catalysts, when HClO 4 is used as an electrolyte. The Pt (110) and Pt (111) facets are shown to have higher electrochemical activities than Pt (100) facets. To the best of our knowledge, methanol oxidation studies and the comparison of peak deconvolutions of the H desorption region in CV cyclic studies are reported here for the first time for SiC based catalysts. The reaction kinetics for the oxygen reduction and for methanol oxidation with Pt/SiC are observed to be similar to the carbon based catalysts. The SiC based catalyst shows a higher specific surface activity than BASF (Pt/C) for methanol oxidation and oxygen reduction while the mass activity values are comparable.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number48
Pages (from-to)15509-15516
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 16. Oct 2013


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