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Title: Final Technical Report for project entitled Highly Active, Durable, and Ultra-Low PGM NSTF Thin Film ORR Catalysts and Support

Abstract

In this project, the objective was to develop new oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) which could exceed all of the Department of Energy (DOE) 2020 targets listed in DE-FOA-0001224, Subtopic 1b, Table I. The expected outcome was development of one or more electrocatalysts which are substantially improved over the current state-of-the-art in terms of overall activity, durability, and cost, and are suitable for automotive traction and stationary fuel cell applications. This report summarizes this project’s progress towards meeting the stated objectives and includes a summary of key findings and conclusions. The development activities towards new highly active and durable thin film electrocatalysts has led to the discovery of several electrocatalysts which approached or exceeded several DOE 2020 targets for activity, durability, and performance in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). In this project, electrocatalyst development focused on systematic physical and electrochemical characterization of electrocatalyst activity, durability, and performance in MEAs as a function of electrocatalyst fabrication, compositional and structural variables. The project approach was to develop relationships between the catalyst functional responses (activity, durability and performance) with catalyst physical properties and catalyst fabrication methods. Additionally, the thin film catalysts weremore » integrated onto the unique and durable 3M Nanostructured Thin Film (NSTF) support, consisting of arrays of self-assembled organic crystalline whiskers. The catalysts were evaluated against the project targets via extensive electrochemical characterization in MEA format at 3M, advanced structural and compositional microscopy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and atomic structure analysis via XAFS at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). The extensive electrochemical and physical characterization resulted in development of several trends which correlate the catalysts’ electrochemical properties to their physical properties, including composition, structure, and method of fabrication. The development was guided by density functional theory (DFT) modeling at Purdue University and kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) modeling at Johns Hopkins University. The catalyst simulations provided key insights into the observed experimental activity and durability trends, and additionally were utilized to assess new electrocatalyst concepts prior to or coincident with physical catalyst development. This development has led to several electrocatalyst candidates with activity and durability which approach or exceed DOE targets. One class of catalysts, based on nm-scale thin layers of Pt on Ir, met or exceeded 6 of the 6 DOE targets the project addressed.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
3M Company, Maplewood, MN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1608958
Report Number(s):
DOE-3M-0007270
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007270
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; Oxygen Reduction Reaction Electrocatalysts, Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Citation Formats

Steinbach, Andrew. Final Technical Report for project entitled Highly Active, Durable, and Ultra-Low PGM NSTF Thin Film ORR Catalysts and Support. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.2172/1608958.
Steinbach, Andrew. Final Technical Report for project entitled Highly Active, Durable, and Ultra-Low PGM NSTF Thin Film ORR Catalysts and Support. United States. doi:10.2172/1608958.
Steinbach, Andrew. Mon . "Final Technical Report for project entitled Highly Active, Durable, and Ultra-Low PGM NSTF Thin Film ORR Catalysts and Support". United States. doi:10.2172/1608958. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1608958.
@article{osti_1608958,
title = {Final Technical Report for project entitled Highly Active, Durable, and Ultra-Low PGM NSTF Thin Film ORR Catalysts and Support},
author = {Steinbach, Andrew},
abstractNote = {In this project, the objective was to develop new oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) which could exceed all of the Department of Energy (DOE) 2020 targets listed in DE-FOA-0001224, Subtopic 1b, Table I. The expected outcome was development of one or more electrocatalysts which are substantially improved over the current state-of-the-art in terms of overall activity, durability, and cost, and are suitable for automotive traction and stationary fuel cell applications. This report summarizes this project’s progress towards meeting the stated objectives and includes a summary of key findings and conclusions. The development activities towards new highly active and durable thin film electrocatalysts has led to the discovery of several electrocatalysts which approached or exceeded several DOE 2020 targets for activity, durability, and performance in proton exchange membrane fuel cell (membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). In this project, electrocatalyst development focused on systematic physical and electrochemical characterization of electrocatalyst activity, durability, and performance in MEAs as a function of electrocatalyst fabrication, compositional and structural variables. The project approach was to develop relationships between the catalyst functional responses (activity, durability and performance) with catalyst physical properties and catalyst fabrication methods. Additionally, the thin film catalysts were integrated onto the unique and durable 3M Nanostructured Thin Film (NSTF) support, consisting of arrays of self-assembled organic crystalline whiskers. The catalysts were evaluated against the project targets via extensive electrochemical characterization in MEA format at 3M, advanced structural and compositional microscopy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and atomic structure analysis via XAFS at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). The extensive electrochemical and physical characterization resulted in development of several trends which correlate the catalysts’ electrochemical properties to their physical properties, including composition, structure, and method of fabrication. The development was guided by density functional theory (DFT) modeling at Purdue University and kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) modeling at Johns Hopkins University. The catalyst simulations provided key insights into the observed experimental activity and durability trends, and additionally were utilized to assess new electrocatalyst concepts prior to or coincident with physical catalyst development. This development has led to several electrocatalyst candidates with activity and durability which approach or exceed DOE targets. One class of catalysts, based on nm-scale thin layers of Pt on Ir, met or exceeded 6 of the 6 DOE targets the project addressed.},
doi = {10.2172/1608958},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {3}
}