Development and Implementation of Catalysts and Membrane Electrode Assemblies Based on Extended Thin Film Electrocatalysts

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 15:20
National Harbor 2 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
S. M. Alia, K. C. Neyerlin, K. Hurst, J. W. Zack, S. A. Mauger (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), W. W. McNeary, A. Weimer, W. Medlin (University of Colorado, Boulder), S. M. Shulda, C. Ngo, S. Pylypenko (Colorado School of Mines), and B. S. Pivovar (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
Fuel cells (and hydrogen generation from renewable electrons) represent tremendous promise in pushing society towards a more sustainable energy system. One key barrier for such a future energy system is the need for platinum group metals for catalysis and the quantities required for efficient performance. It has been a long standing goal to continually increase performance and durability of electrochemical devices, and one promising approach has been the development and implementation of extended thin film electrocatalysts.1

Our team has extensively investigated extended surface catalysts as a novel platform for increased performance and durability at lower cost.2,3,4This presentation will highlight the advances of our team in the synthesis and implementation of extended surface electrocatalysts with a focus on PtNi nanowires (NWs) produced by atomic layer deposition (ALD) and spontaneous galvanic displacement (SGD), see Figure 1. While these materials have shown great promise in ex-situ (rotating disc electrode) studies, performance in-situ (fuel cell tests) has not yet fully reflected the performance potential seen in these ex-situ tests. In large part we attribute this to challenges in electrode fabrication and integration. This presentation will present results that focus on the differences between in-situ and ex-situ properties, quantification of performance losses in fuel cell tests, and our efforts to further improve performance and durability of such systems.

Figure 1. Polarization curves for PtNiNW based catalysts for catalysts synthesized by spontaneous galvanic displacement (SGD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD).

1. Mark K. Debe∗, Alison K. Schmoeckel, George D. Vernstrom, Radoslav Atanasoski, Journal of Power Sources 161 (2006) 1002–1011.

2. Shaun Alia, Svitlana Pylypenko, Arrelaine Dameron, KC Neyerlin, Shyam Kocha, Bryan Pivovar, J. Electrochem. Soc. 2016 163(3): F296-F301.

3. Shaun M. Alia, Svitlana Pylypenko, K.C. Neyerlin, Shyam S. Kocha, and Bryan S. Pivovar, J. Electrochem. Soc. 2015 162(12): F1299-F1304.

4. Shaun M. Alia, Svitlana Pylypenko, K.C. Neyerlin, David A. Cullen, Shyam S. Kocha, Bryan S. Pivovar, ACS Catalysis, 4, 2680, 2014.