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Title: Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells

Abstract

Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the major aim of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. This latter aspect is key to attaining the 2015 DOE technical targets for platinum group metal (PGM) loadings (0.20 mg/cm{sup 2}). The benefits of the use of carbon-supported catalysts to drastically reduce Pt loadings from the early, conventional Pt-black technology are well known. The supported platinum catalyzed membrane approach widely used today for fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) was developed shortly thereafter these early reports. Of direct relevance to this present work, are the investigations into Pt particle growth in PEM fuel cells, and subsequent follow-on work showing evidence of Pt particles suspended free of the support within the catalyst layer. Further, durability work has demonstrated the detrimental effects of potential cycling on carbon corrosion and the link between electrochemical surface area and particle growth. To avoid the issuesmore » with carbon degradation altogether, it has been proposed by numerous fuel cell research groups to replace carbon supports with conductive materials that are ceramic in nature. Intrinsically, these many conductive oxides, carbides, and nitrides possess the prerequisite electronic conductivity required, and offer corrosion resistance in PEMFC environments; however, most reports indicate that obtaining sufficient surface area remains a significant barrier to obtaining desirable fuel ceU performance. Ceramic materials that exhibit high electrical conductivity and necessary stability under fuel cell conditions must also exhibit high surface area as a necessary adjunct to obtaining high Pt dispersions and Pt utilization targets. Our goal in this work is to identify new synthesis approaches together with materials that will lead to ceramic supports with high surface areas and high Pt dispersions. Several strong candidates for use as PEMFC catalyst supports include: transition metal nitrides and substoichiometric titanium oxides, which hither to now have been prepared by other researcher groups with relatively low surface areas (ca. 1-50 m{sup 2}/g typical). To achieve our goals of engineering high surface area, conductive ceramic support for utilization in PEMFCs, a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary team with experience synthesizing and investigating these materials has been assembled. This team is headed by Los Alamos National Laboratory and includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of New Mexico. This report describes our fiscal year 2010 technical progress related to applying advanced synthetiC methods towards the development of new ceramic supports for Pt catalysts for PEM fuel cells.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1026826
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-10-05307; LA-UR-10-5307
TRN: US201121%%124
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 2010 Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition ; October 25, 2010 ; San Antonio, TX
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; CARBIDES; CARBON; CATALYST SUPPORTS; CATALYSTS; CERAMICS; CORROSION; CORROSION RESISTANCE; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ELECTROLYTES; FABRICATION; FUEL CELLS; MEMBRANES; NITRIDES; OXIDES; PLATINUM; POLYMERS; SURFACE AREA; SYNTHESIS; TARGETS; TITANIUM OXIDES; TRANSITION ELEMENTS

Citation Formats

Brosha, Eric L, Blackmore, Karen J, Burrell, Anthony K, Henson, Neil J, and Phillips, Jonathan. Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Brosha, Eric L, Blackmore, Karen J, Burrell, Anthony K, Henson, Neil J, & Phillips, Jonathan. Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells. United States.
Brosha, Eric L, Blackmore, Karen J, Burrell, Anthony K, Henson, Neil J, and Phillips, Jonathan. Fri . "Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1026826.
@article{osti_1026826,
title = {Engineered nano-scale ceramic supports for PEM fuel cells},
author = {Brosha, Eric L and Blackmore, Karen J and Burrell, Anthony K and Henson, Neil J and Phillips, Jonathan},
abstractNote = {Catalyst support durability is currently a technical barrier for commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, especially for transportation applications. Degradation and corrosion of the conventional carbon supports leads to losses in active catalyst surface area and, consequently, reduced performance. As a result, the major aim of this work is to develop support materials that interact strongly with Pt, yet sustain bulk-like catalytic activities with very highly dispersed particles. This latter aspect is key to attaining the 2015 DOE technical targets for platinum group metal (PGM) loadings (0.20 mg/cm{sup 2}). The benefits of the use of carbon-supported catalysts to drastically reduce Pt loadings from the early, conventional Pt-black technology are well known. The supported platinum catalyzed membrane approach widely used today for fabrication of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) was developed shortly thereafter these early reports. Of direct relevance to this present work, are the investigations into Pt particle growth in PEM fuel cells, and subsequent follow-on work showing evidence of Pt particles suspended free of the support within the catalyst layer. Further, durability work has demonstrated the detrimental effects of potential cycling on carbon corrosion and the link between electrochemical surface area and particle growth. To avoid the issues with carbon degradation altogether, it has been proposed by numerous fuel cell research groups to replace carbon supports with conductive materials that are ceramic in nature. Intrinsically, these many conductive oxides, carbides, and nitrides possess the prerequisite electronic conductivity required, and offer corrosion resistance in PEMFC environments; however, most reports indicate that obtaining sufficient surface area remains a significant barrier to obtaining desirable fuel ceU performance. Ceramic materials that exhibit high electrical conductivity and necessary stability under fuel cell conditions must also exhibit high surface area as a necessary adjunct to obtaining high Pt dispersions and Pt utilization targets. Our goal in this work is to identify new synthesis approaches together with materials that will lead to ceramic supports with high surface areas and high Pt dispersions. Several strong candidates for use as PEMFC catalyst supports include: transition metal nitrides and substoichiometric titanium oxides, which hither to now have been prepared by other researcher groups with relatively low surface areas (ca. 1-50 m{sup 2}/g typical). To achieve our goals of engineering high surface area, conductive ceramic support for utilization in PEMFCs, a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary team with experience synthesizing and investigating these materials has been assembled. This team is headed by Los Alamos National Laboratory and includes Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of New Mexico. This report describes our fiscal year 2010 technical progress related to applying advanced synthetiC methods towards the development of new ceramic supports for Pt catalysts for PEM fuel cells.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1026826}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {1}
}

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