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Oxidatively Induced Exposure of Active Surface Area during Microwave Assisted Formation of Pt3Co Nanoparticles for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6830-2174
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9239-0541
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5080-8273
2019 (English)In: RSC Advances, ISSN 2046-2069, E-ISSN 2046-2069, Vol. 9, no 31, p. 17979-17987Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), the rate-limiting reaction in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, can efficiently be facilitated by properly manufactured platinum catalysts alloyed with late 3d transition metals. Herein we synthesize a platinum:cobalt nanoparticulate catalyst with a 3:1 atomic ratio by reduction of a dry organometallic precursor blend within a commercial household microwave oven. The formed nanoparticles are simultaneously anchored to a carbon black support that enables large Pt surface area. Two separate microwave treatment steps were employed, where step one constitutes a fast oxidative treatment for revealing active surface area while a reductive secondary annealing treatment promotes a Pt rich surface. The resulting Pt3Co/C catalyst (~3.4 nm) demonstrate an enhanced ORR activity directly attributed to incorporated Co with a specific and mass activity of 704 μA cm-2Pt and 352 A g-1Pt corresponding to an increase by 279 % and 66 % respectively compared to a commercial Pt/C (~1.8 nm) catalyst measured under identical conditions. The method´s simplicity, scalability and novelty is expected to further assist in Pt-Co development and bring the catalyst one step closer toward commercialization and utility in fuel cells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019. Vol. 9, no 31, p. 17979-17987
Keywords [en]
Proton exchange membrane fuel cell, platinum cobalt, Oxygen reduction reaction, Microwave synthesis
National Category
Nano Technology Other Materials Engineering
Research subject
nanomaterials; nanoparticles; Materials Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158492DOI: 10.1039/c9ra02095kISI: 000471914300054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-158492DiVA, id: diva2:1307767
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2017-04862ÅForsk (Ångpanneföreningen's Foundation for Research and Development), 15-483Swedish Energy Agency, 45419-1Swedish Research Council, 2018-03937Stiftelsen Olle Engkvist Byggmästare, 186-0637
Note

Originally included in thesis in manuscript form 

Available from: 2019-04-29 Created: 2019-04-29 Last updated: 2019-07-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Innovations in nanomaterials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Innovations in nanomaterials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Utveckling av nanomaterial för polymerelektrolytbränsleceller
Abstract [en]

Hydrogen technologies are rapidly receiving increased attention as it offers a renewable energy alternative to the current petroleum-based fuel infrastructure, considering that continued large-scale use of such fossil fuels will lead to disastrous impacts on our environment. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell should play a significant role in a hydrogen economy since it enables convenient and direct conversion of hydrogen into electricity, thus allowing the use of hydrogen in applications particularly suited for the transportation industry. To fully realize this, multiple engineering challenges as well as development of advanced nanomaterials must however be addressed.

In this thesis, we present discoveries of new innovative nanomaterials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells by targeting the entire membrane electrode assembly. Conceptually, we first propose new fabrication techniques of gas diffusion electrodes based on helical carbon nanofibers, where an enhanced three-phase boundary was noted in particular for hierarchical structures. The cathode catalyst, responsible for facilitating the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction, was further improved by the synthesis of platinum-based nanoparticles with an incorporated secondary metal (iron, yttrium and cobalt). Here, both solvothermal and high-temperature microwave syntheses were employed. Catalytic activities were improved compared to pure platinum and could be attributed to favorably shifted oxygen adsorption energies as a result of successful incorporation of the non-precious metal. As best exemplified by platinum-iron nanoparticles, the oxygen reduction reaction was highly sensitive to both metal composition and the type of crystal structure. Finally, a proton exchange membrane based on fluorine and sulfonic acid functionalized graphene oxide was prepared and tested in hydrogen fuel cell conditions, showing improvements such as lowered hydrogen permeation and better structural stability. Consequently, we have demonstrated that there is room for improvement of multiple components, suggesting that more powerful fuel cells can likely be anticipated in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2019. p. 88
Keywords
Fuel Cells, Membrane Electrode Assembly, Oxygen Reduction Reaction, Platinum alloy catalyst, Nanoparticles, Gas Diffusion Electrode, Proton Exchange Membrane
National Category
Energy Systems Nano Technology Other Materials Engineering Other Chemical Engineering Condensed Matter Physics
Research subject
Materials Science; Solid State Physics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-158501 (URN)978-91-7855-044-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-05-28, N460, Naturvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-07 Created: 2019-04-29 Last updated: 2019-05-06Bibliographically approved

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