Pt-Ru/C Catalyst Performance during Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Operation

Tuesday, 3 October 2017: 11:00
National Harbor 14 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
D. J. Pereira, C. H. Wilkins, S. Shimpalee, and J. W. Weidner (University of South Carolina)
A methodology for the electroless deposition (ED) of ruthenium (Ru) on a commercial, carbon-supported Platinum (Pt) catalyst has been developed for electrochemical and fuel cell applications [1, 2]. Several different bimetallic catalysts composed of Pt and Ru have been produced using this methodology with promise of having better catalytic activity. Figure 1 shows how the SEA/ED method produces a finer, more evenly dispersed bimetallic distribution with less monometallic clustering [1]. These bimetallic catalysts have shown higher activities compared to both commercially-available Pt-Ru/C catalysts and monometallic Pt or Ru catalysts [3, 4]. This method’s bimetallic catalyst is proven to show better resistance to CO poisoning as well [3, 5, 6]. In application, this Pt-Ru/C catalyst has promise to be an optimal catalyst for use in a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC).

The objective for this study is to test the performance of the new Pt-Ru/C catalyst within a DMFC and compare the results to the commercially-available catalyst. This includes synthesis of the SEA/ED, Pt-Ru/C catalyst, characterization of the commercially-available and newly-synthesized catalyst with analysis, and finally, testing of each catalyst within a DMFC testing station and analyzing performance results. The DMFC testing and comparison is important to help show the catalysts’ real-world performance as well as effects of possible CO-poisoning during operation. The newly-synthesized catalyst has an increased electrochemical area as well as a better bi-metallic dispersion, to allow ruthenium to better prevent any platinum from being poisoned, causing the catalyst to perform better and last longer.

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2. Cho, H.-R. and J.R. Regalbuto, The rational synthesis of Pt-Pd bimetallic catalysts by electrostatic adsorption. Catalysis Today, 2015. 246: p. 143-153.

3. Garrick, T.R., et al., The Effect of Bimetallic Surface Composition for Methanol Oxidation. Student Posters (General) - 223rd Ecs Meeting, 2013. 53(29): p. 79-84.

4. Garrick, T.R., et al., The Effect of the Surface Composition of Ru-Pt Bimetallic Catalysts for Methanol Oxidation. Electrochimica Acta, 2016. 195: p. 106-111.

5. Galhenage, R.P., et al., Platinum–ruthenium bimetallic clusters on graphite: a comparison of vapor deposition and electroless deposition methods. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2015. 17(42): p. 28354-28363.

6. Kabbabi, A., et al., In situ FTIRS study of the electrocatalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide and methanol at platinum–ruthenium bulk alloy electrodes. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry, 1998. 444(1): p. 41-53.