Investigation of the Kinetics of Oxygen Reduction on Nanostructured New Cathode Catalysts for Low Temp Fuel Cells

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Investigation of the Kinetics of Oxygen Reduction on Nanostructured New Cathode Catalysts for Low Temp Fuel Cells Investigation of the Kinetics of Oxygen Reduction on Nanostructured New Cathode Catalysts for Low Temp Fuel Cells Record breaking oil price, growing energy demand and global warming have led to a world-wide research effort on developing highly efficient and clean alternative energy sources. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are considered as one of the most promising alternative energy sources for transportation, stationary and portable electronics due to their high efficiency. Searching new cathode materials for fuel cells to replace expensive and scarce Pt is to date one of the most important subjects of study in the field of electrocatalysis. Nanostructuring allows one to enhance the electrocatalytic activity of the electrodes for oxygen reduction and there is a direct output for better electrocatalyst design for fuel cells and for a more effective usage of costly noble metals. The principal aim of this project is to study the electrochemical reduction of oxygen on nanostructured metal electrodes and on metal nanoparticles attached to carbon nanotubes. The nanostructured mono- and bimetallic electrodes will be prepared by vacuum deposition onto flat electrodes and will be employed as model systems of practical catalysts for testing a variety of structures, in order to provide a fundamental basis for the development of practical catalysts. In addition, oxygen reduction will be studied on nanostructured catalysts based on carbon nanotubes. For this, metal nanoparticles of well-defined size and geometry will be synthesized using new methods and these particles will be attached to carbon nanotubes. The production of nanostructured surfaces allows one the investigation of size effects in electrocatalytic reactions. The role of nanotubes as support material on catalyst activity will be compared with previous results obtained using flat carbon supports (e.g. glassy carbon). The electronic properties of carbon nanotubes may influence the catalyst activity. Electrochemical measurements will be carried out using cyclic voltammetry and the rotating (ring) disk electrode method. The surface morphology and composition of nanoparticles will be examined employing atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/1012/31/12

Funding

  • *DUPLICATE-CRDF Global: $11,000.00

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