Campus Units

Chemical and Biological Engineering, Ames Laboratory

Document Type

Article

Research Focus Area

Catalysis and Reaction Engineering

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

8-25-2016

Journal or Book Title

Journal of The Electrochemical Society

Volume

163

Issue

10

First Page

F1228

Last Page

F1236

DOI

10.1149/2.0921610jes

Abstract

Nanoscale graphenes were used as cathode catalyst supports in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Surface-initiated polymerization that covalently bonds polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer on the surface of graphene supports enables the uniform distribution of the Pt nanoparticles, as well as allows the sealing of the unterminated carbon bonds usually present on the edge of graphene from the chemical reduction of graphene oxide. The nanographene effectively shortens the length of channels and pores for O2 diffusion/water dissipation and significantly increases the primary pore volume. Further addition of p-phenyl sulfonic functional graphitic carbon particles as spacers, increases the specific volume of the secondary pores and greatly improves O2 mass transport within the catalyst layers. The developed composite cathode catalyst of Pt/PBI-nanographene (50 wt%) + SO3H-graphitic carbon black demonstrates a higher beginning of life (BOL) PEMFC performance as compared to both Pt/PBI-nanographene (50 wt%) and Pt/PBI-graphene (50 wt%) + SO3H-graphitic carbon black (GCB). Accelerated stress tests show excellent support durability compared to that of traditional Pt/Vulcan XC72 catalysts, when subjected to 10,000 cycles from 1.0 V to 1.5 V. This study suggests the promise of using PBI-nanographene + SO3H-GCB hybrid supports in fuel cells to achieve the 2020 DOE targets for transportation applications.

Comments

This article is published as Xin, Le, Fan Yang, Yang Qiu, Aytekin Uzunoglu, Tommy Rockward, Rodney L. Borup, Lia A. Stanciu, Wenzhen Li, and Jian Xie. "Polybenzimidazole (PBI) functionalized nanographene as highly stable catalyst support for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)." Journal of The Electrochemical Society 163, no. 10 (2016): F1228. DOI: 10.1149/2.0921610jes. Posted with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright Owner

The Author(s)

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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