The Electrochemical Performance and Durability of Carbon Supported Pt Catalyst in Contact with Aqueous and Polymeric Proton Conductors

Shuang Ma Andersen, Eivind Morten Skou

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Significant differences in catalyst performance and durability are often observed between the use of a liquid electrolyte (e.g. sulfuric acid), and a solid polymer electrolyte (e.g. Nafion®). To understand this phenomenon, we studied the electrochemical behavior of a commercially available carbon supported platinum catalyst in four different electrode structures: catalyst powder (CP), catalyst ionomer electrode (CIE), half membrane electrode assembly (HMEA) and full membrane electrode assembly (FMEA) in both ex-situ and in-situ experiments under a simulated start/stop cycle. We found that the catalyst performance and stability are very much influenced by the presence of the Nafion ionomers. The proton conducting phase provided by the ionomer and the self-assembled electrode structure render the catalysts a higher utilization and better stability. This is probably due to an enhanced dispersion, an improved proton - catalyst interphase, the restriction of catalyst particle aggregation and the improved stability of the ionomer phase especially after the lamination. Therefore, an innovative electrode HMEA design for ex-situ catalyst characterization is proposed. The electrode structure is identical to the one used in a real fuel cell, where the protons transport takes place solely through solid state proton conducting phase.
Original languageEnglish
JournalA C S Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume6
Issue number19
Pages (from-to)16565-76
ISSN1944-8244
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • interface
  • durability
  • PEMFC
  • MEA
  • Pt catalyst
  • electrode structure

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