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RESEARCH PAPER

A New PtRu Anode Formed by Thermal Decomposition for the Direct Method Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
L. X. Yang1

 School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, University of Newcastle, Merz Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU United Kingdom

R. G. Allen, P. Christensen, S. Roy

 School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, University of Newcastle, Merz Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU United Kingdom

K. Scott2

 School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials, University of Newcastle, Merz Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU United Kingdom

1

Present address: Shape Transfer Processes, Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute, Room 240-1, 800 Collip Circle, London Ontario N6G 4X8, Canada. Email: lianxi.yang@nrc.gc.ca

2

Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; electronic mail: k.scott@ncl.ac.uk

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 2(2), 104-110 (Sep 25, 2004) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1867975 History: Received May 22, 2004; Revised September 25, 2004

New PtRu catalyst anodes for methanol oxidation were prepared by a thermal decomposition method on titanium mesh supports. The supports employed were: Single layer (titanium mesh), double layer (two layers of titanium mesh were spot-welded together), and triple layer (two layers of titanium mesh with carbon paper between were spot-welded together). The catalytic activity of such anodes for the oxidation of methanol was characterized using galvanostatic measurements and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy in combination with scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the PtRu catalyst thermally decomposed on the double-layer mesh support exhibited a higher catalytic activity for methanol electro-oxidation than those supported on carbon powders. Preliminary direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) data show that the power density of the DMFC with the new anode is higher than that with carbon-supported anodes. A further increase in power density for the DMFC with the new anodes is expected with optimization of the mesh support with regard to structure, mesh material, and catalyst coating methods.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

SEM images of the titanium mesh coated with PtRu catalyst by a thermal decomposition method. See Table 1 for measured geometric characteristics, such as strand width, thickness, and opening sizes of the mesh.

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Figure 2

SEM image of the PtRu catalyst formed on a titanium support by a thermal decomposition method (Sample c-1). The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was a mixture of 0.2MH2PtCl6 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio.

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Figure 3

High-resolution SEM images of the catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on a titanium mesh support. The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was: (a) 0.2MH2PtCl2, (b) 0.2MRuCl3, and (c) a mixture of 0.2MPtCl3 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio.

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Figure 4

Galvanostatic plots in 2MCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on the different titanium mesh. The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was a mixture of 0.2MH2PtCl3 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio.

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Figure 5

Galvanostatic plots in 2MCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on multilayer supports. The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was a mixture of 0.2MH2PtCl3 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio. The results are compared to Hogarth (13).

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Figure 6

Galvanostatic plots in xMCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on a double layer of titanium mesh (Sample c-4). The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was a mixture of 0.2MH2PtCl3 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio.

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Figure 7

Tafel plot in xMCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on a double layer of titanium mesh (Sample c-4). The thermal decomposition was conducted at 400°C in air for 1h; the precursor used was a mixture of 0.2MH2PtCl3 and 0.2MRuCl3 in a 1:1 molar ratio.

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Figure 8

EIS plots obtained at a bias potential of 0.3V RHE in xMCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on a double-layer titanium mesh (Sample c-4). The insert is a proposed equivalent circuit for the electrode/electrolyte interface process.

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Figure 9

EIS plots obtained at a bias potential of 0.5V RHE in xMCH3OH+0.5MH2SO4(60°C) of the PtRu catalysts formed by a thermal decomposition method on a double layer titanium mesh (Sample c-4). The insert is a proposed equivalent circuit for the electrode/electrolyte interface process.

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Figure 10

Fuel cell polarization of MEA using a titanium mesh anode (Sample c-3) measured at 90°C in 1MCH3OH; anode catalyst layer: 2.3mgcm−2 thermal decomposed PtRu; cathode catalyst layer: 4.5mgcm−260wt%Pt∕C.

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