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Title: Nano-structured platinum group metal-free catalysts and their integration in fuel cell electrode architectures

Abstract

The novel platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is synthesized by a modified sacrificial support method (SSM). The catalyst chemical/surface composition is studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and the morphology of the material is observed using both HR-SEM and HR-TEM, demonstratingthe open-frame, self-supported catalysts. This new catalyst’s electrochemical performance is evaluated by polarization curves and has behaviour comparable to the state-of-the-art PGM-free catalysts. Meso-structure imaging shows pores on the order of 100 nm, the mean size of the individual silica particles in the sacrificial support. For the first time, PGM-free catalyst layer (CL) morphology in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is studied in detail by combined nano- and micro X-ray computed tomography (CT) and interpretational modelling. The highly inhomogeneous, high-tortuosity, through-thickness structure of the CL is observed with micro-CT. The nano-CT method for these thick PGM-free electrodes is not sufficient to capture the full through-thickness morphology of these electrodes. Water retention curves suggest water pooling at the MEA components‘ interfaces and significant dependence of capilary pressure and saturation on through-thickness location. Lastly, this study is the first of its kind to identify morphology-dependent transport losses in the thick PGM-free electrodes using scale-bridging between meso-, micro-,more » and macro.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Tufts Univ., Medford, MA (United States)
  3. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1493739
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Catalysis. B, Environmental
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 237; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0926-3373
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; fuel-cells; platinum group metal-free catalysts; water management; x-ray computed tomography

Citation Formats

Serov, Alexey, Shum, Andrew D., Xiao, Xianghui, De Andrade, Vincent, Artyushkova, Kateryna, Zenyuk, Iryna V., and Atanassov, Plamen. Nano-structured platinum group metal-free catalysts and their integration in fuel cell electrode architectures. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.08.067.
Serov, Alexey, Shum, Andrew D., Xiao, Xianghui, De Andrade, Vincent, Artyushkova, Kateryna, Zenyuk, Iryna V., & Atanassov, Plamen. Nano-structured platinum group metal-free catalysts and their integration in fuel cell electrode architectures. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.08.067.
Serov, Alexey, Shum, Andrew D., Xiao, Xianghui, De Andrade, Vincent, Artyushkova, Kateryna, Zenyuk, Iryna V., and Atanassov, Plamen. Sat . "Nano-structured platinum group metal-free catalysts and their integration in fuel cell electrode architectures". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.08.067. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1493739.
@article{osti_1493739,
title = {Nano-structured platinum group metal-free catalysts and their integration in fuel cell electrode architectures},
author = {Serov, Alexey and Shum, Andrew D. and Xiao, Xianghui and De Andrade, Vincent and Artyushkova, Kateryna and Zenyuk, Iryna V. and Atanassov, Plamen},
abstractNote = {The novel platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is synthesized by a modified sacrificial support method (SSM). The catalyst chemical/surface composition is studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and the morphology of the material is observed using both HR-SEM and HR-TEM, demonstratingthe open-frame, self-supported catalysts. This new catalyst’s electrochemical performance is evaluated by polarization curves and has behaviour comparable to the state-of-the-art PGM-free catalysts. Meso-structure imaging shows pores on the order of 100 nm, the mean size of the individual silica particles in the sacrificial support. For the first time, PGM-free catalyst layer (CL) morphology in a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) is studied in detail by combined nano- and micro X-ray computed tomography (CT) and interpretational modelling. The highly inhomogeneous, high-tortuosity, through-thickness structure of the CL is observed with micro-CT. The nano-CT method for these thick PGM-free electrodes is not sufficient to capture the full through-thickness morphology of these electrodes. Water retention curves suggest water pooling at the MEA components‘ interfaces and significant dependence of capilary pressure and saturation on through-thickness location. Lastly, this study is the first of its kind to identify morphology-dependent transport losses in the thick PGM-free electrodes using scale-bridging between meso-, micro-, and macro.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apcatb.2017.08.067},
journal = {Applied Catalysis. B, Environmental},
issn = {0926-3373},
number = C,
volume = 237,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {8}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: SEM and TEM images of Fe-MSG catalyst prepared by Sacrificial Support Method.

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Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.