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Title: Polybenzimidazole (PBI) functionalized nanographene as highly stable catalyst support for polymer Electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Nanoscale graphenes were used as cathode catalyst supports in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Surface-initiated polymerization that covalently bonds polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer on the surface of graphene supports enables the uniform distribution of the Pt nanoparticles, as well as allows the sealing of the unterminated carbon bonds usually present on the edge of graphene from the chemical reduction of graphene oxide. The nanographene effectively shortens the length of channels and pores for O 2 diffusion/water dissipation and significantly increases the primary pore volume. Further addition of p-phenyl sulfonic functional graphitic carbon particles as spacers, increases the specific volume of the secondary pores and greatly improves O 2 mass transport within the catalyst layers. The developed composite cathode catalyst of Pt/PBI-nanographene (50 wt%) + SO 3H-graphitic carbon black demonstrates a higher beginning of life (BOL) PEMFC performance as compared to both Pt/PBI-nanographene (50 wt%) and Pt/PBI-graphene (50 wt%) + SO 3H-graphitic carbon black (GCB). Accelerated stress tests show excellent support durability compared to that of traditional Pt/Vulcan XC72 catalysts, when subjected to 10,000 cycles from 1.0 V to 1.5 V. As a result, this study suggests the promise of using PBI-nanographene + SO 3H-GCB hybrid supports in fuel cells tomore » achieve the 2020 DOE targets for transportation applications.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [4] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN (United States)
  2. Indiana Univ.-Purdue Univ. Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN (United States); Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  3. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
  4. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  5. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Electrochemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 163; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-4651
The Electrochemical Society
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; energy Sciences; fuel cell; nanographene; graphene supports; mercury porosimetry; PEMFCs; polybenzimidazole polymer; support durability; surface functionalization
OSTI Identifier: