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Research Papers

Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Using Pt/MWNT–Pt/C Composites as Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Leela Mohana Reddy, M. M. Shaijumon

Department of Physics, Alternative Energy Technology Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600 036, India

N. Rajalakshmi

 Centre for Fuel Cell Technology, 120 Manipakkam Main Road, Medavakkam, Chennai 601 302, India

S. Ramaprabhu1

Department of Physics, Alternative Energy Technology Laboratory, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600 036, Indiaramp@iitm.ac.in

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(2), 021001 (Dec 30, 2009) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3176215 History: Received August 10, 2006; Revised April 05, 2007; Published December 30, 2009; Online December 30, 2009

Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) have been synthesized by the pyrolysis of acetylene using hydrogen decrepitated Mischmetal based AB3 alloy hydride catalyst. Structural, morphological, and vibrational characterizations have been carried out using X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectroscopy. Pt-supported MWNTs (Pt/MWNTs) have been prepared by chemical reduction method using functionalized MWNTs. Composites of Pt/MWNTs and Pt/C in different weight proportions have been used as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and the performance on the accessibility of Pt electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction in PEMFC has been systematically studied. The cyclic voltammetric studies of the electrodes have been performed in order to understand the factors influencing the elecetrocatalytic activity and fuel cell performance and the results have been discussed.

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References

Figures

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Figure 4

(a) SEM, ((b) and (c))TEM, and (d) HRTEM images of purified MWNTs

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Figure 5

FTIR spectra of acid treated purified MWNTs

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Figure 6

(a) SEM, (b) TEM, (c) HRTEM, and (d) EDAX patterns of Pt/MWNTs

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Figure 7

Polarization curves of PEMFC at various temperatures with cathode catalyst containing a mixture of Pt/C and Pt/MWNT electrocatalysts (prepared using purified MWNTs synthesized by pyrolysis of acetylene over Mm based AB3 alloy hydride catalyst): (a) 100 wt % Pt/C, (b) 25 wt % Pt/MWNTs and 75 wt % Pt/C, (c) 50 wt % Pt/MWNTs and 50 wt % Pt/C, (d) 75 wt % Pt/MWNTs and 25 wt % Pt/C, and (e) 100 wt % Pt/MWNTs

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Figure 8

Comparative curves of voltage verses normalized currents for different MEAs at constant cell temperature of 60°C

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Figure 9

TEM picture of 50% Pt/MWNTs and 50% Pt/C composite electrocatalysts

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Figure 10

Polarization curves of PEMFC at 60°C with cathode catalyst containing a mixture of Pt/C and Pt/MWNT electrocatalysts

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Figure 1

SEM images of (a) as melted Mm based AB3 alloy and (b) Mm based AB3 alloy hydrides after three cycles of hydrogen absorption/desorption

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Figure 2

Photographs of (a) quartz boat with Mm based AB3 alloy hydride catalyst before deposition and (b) quartz boat with MWNTs deposits with a reaction time of 30 min

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Figure 3

Powder X-ray diffractograms of (a) as-grown MWNTs, (b) purified MWNTs prepared by pyrolysis of acetylene over alloy hydride catalyst, and (c) Pt-loaded MWNTs

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Figure 11

Cyclic voltamograms for Pt/C-Pt/MWNT composite electrodes recorded in 0.1 M HClO4 at scan rate of 0.02 V/s and the Pt loading was 15 μg cm−2

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