An innovative membrane-electrode assembly for efficient and durable polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operations
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017
An innovative membrane-electrode assembly, based on a polyoxometalate (POM)-modified low-Pt loading cathode and a sulphated titania (S-TiO2)-doped Nafion membrane, is evaluated in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. The modification of fuel cell cathode with Cs3HPMo11VO40 polyoxometalate is performed to enhance particles dispersion and increase active area, allowing low Pt loading while maintaining performance. The POM's high surface acidity favors kinetics of oxygen reduction reaction. The mesoporous features of POM allow the embedding of Pt inside the micro-mesopores, avoiding the Pt aggregation during fuel cell operation and delaying the aging process, with consequent increase of lifetime. On the other hands, commercial Nafion is modified with superacidic sulphated titanium oxide nanoparticles, allowing operation at low relative humidity and controlled polarization of the MEA. Further MEAs, formed by unmodified Nafion membrane and the POM-based cathode, as well as sulphated titanium-added Nafion and commercial Pt-based electrodes, are used as terms of comparison. The cell performances are studied by polarization curves, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, Tafel plot analysis and high frequency resistance measurements. The dependence of cell performances on relative humidity is also studied. The catalytic and transport properties are improved using the coupled system, despite the reduced Pt loading, thanks to rich proton environment provided by cathode and membrane.
Nano-composite polymer electrolyte
Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
Polymer electrolyte fuel cells
Low platinum loading