349716 Integration of Highly Active Pt-Sn Nanoparticles into Practical Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell System Designs

Monday, November 4, 2013
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton)
Kevin Tonnis, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

A novel synthesis approach has been used to produce platinum nanoparticles that are highly active for ethanol electrooxidation.   The nanoparticles contain predominately Pt(110) surface sites and an optimized surface SnO coverage.  This report discusses how these nanoparticles are integrated into 25 cm2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for testing in operating direct ethanol fuel cells.  MEA performance is characterized using in-situ using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and polarization curve analyses.  While it is well-established that both tin and Pt(110) promote ethanol electrooxidation on platinum, the performance of highly dispersed nanoparticles in practical fuel cell system designs often does not directly reflect fundamental dispersed  onto the microporous layer of diffusion media to form the electrodes.  A perflurosulfonic acid membrane is then sandwiched between the electrodes to form assymetric MEAsThe electrode on the cathode side contained only Pt while that on the anode side  contained Pt with about65% tin surface coverage that was determined optimum in previous RDE investigations.  Commercial catalyst and MEA was also used for comparison.

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