Assessment of Cathode Catalyst Characteristics to Enhance High Current Density Performance in PEMFCs

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 11:00
National Harbor 2 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


At AFCC continuous effort has been made to improve the power density of fuel cell stack for automotive application in the past decade*. The unique challenges in durability posed by the need for much higher power generation per catalyst loading, kW/mg-Pt is still a major driver and a minimum viable stack functionality for mass production. This presentation will focus on one of the ways to meet the above criterion using mature Pt/C technology (10 to 50 wt% Pt on a high surface area carbon) for oxygen reduction in the cathode. The catalysts were custom made by Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K to maximize and stabilize the Pt nanoparticles activity during their life cycle. The graph shows the linear dependency of a mix of the above catalysts characteristics such as Pt surface area (CO Chemisorption), Pt crystallite size (XRD), and catalyst surface area (N2 BET) as a function of Pt wt% on Carbon.

With more in-depth analyses, preliminary optimization of catalyst layer for each of the above catalysts will be performed and the results will be discussed. These activities would facilitate the understanding of the effect of catalyst characteristics, catalyst structure (ionomer, catalyst layer thickness, EPSA, etc.), and electrode Pt loading (0.25 and 0.15 mg-Pt/cm2) on the high current density performance up to 3 A/cm2. Identifying the above parameters would leverage further development in maximizing the fuel cell functionalities and improving the stack durability.

 *Reference: AFCC accomplishments, http://www.afcc-auto.com/company/about-us/