Nanoengineered Catalysts for Fuel Cells

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
West Hall 1 (Phoenix Convention Center)
S. Fu, C. Zhu, Y. Zhou, D. Du (Washington State University), and Y. Lin (Washington State University)
The rising energy demand and environmental problems require the transition from traditional fossil fuels to clean and sustainable energy sources. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are promising candidates due to their high efficiency and zero emission. However, the large-scale implantation of FCs is hindered by the sluggish cathodic reaction. Pt-based nanoparticles, which are supported on carbon materials, are traditional catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Unfortunately, the high cost, low activity and stability limit the commercialization of PEMFCs. Therefore, efforts are need to explore novel catalysts with low cost, high activity and stability. To this end, some strategies have been applied in our group to develop catalysts for ORR. In order to reduce the usage of Pt, we synthesized Pt-M alloys with core-shell structures, which are demonstrated to be more active and stable, compared to commercial Pt/C catalysts. For the supporting materials, 3D carbon materials are good candidates for ORR due to their high surface area and porosity. On the other hand, we also focus on the non-Pt catalysts, such as heteroatom-doped carbon materials, which attract more attentions because of the elimination of Pt.