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Iron-based cathode catalyst with enhanced power density in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Abstract : H2-air polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells are electrochemical power generators with potential vehicle propulsion applications. To help reduce their cost and encourage widespread use, research has focused on replacing the expensive Pt-based electrocatalysts in polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells with a lower-cost alternative. Fe-based cathode catalysts are promising contenders, but their power density has been low compared with Pt-based cathodes, largely due to poor mass-transport properties. Here we report an iron-acetate/phenanthroline/zeolitic-imidazolate-framework-derived electrocatalyst with increased volumetric activity and enhanced mass-transport properties. The zeolitic-imidazolate-framework serves as a microporous host for phenanthroline and ferrous acetate to form a catalyst precursor that is subsequently heat treated. A cathode made with the best electrocatalyst from this work, tested in H2-O2, has a power density of 0.75 W cm − 2 at 0.6 V, a meaningful voltage for polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells operation, comparable with that of a commercial Pt-based cathode tested under identical conditions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00739597
Contributor : Frederic Jaouen <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 8, 2012 - 3:04:47 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 2:06:10 PM

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Eric Proietti, Frederic Jaouen, Michel Lefèvre, Nicholas Larouche, Juan Tian, et al.. Iron-based cathode catalyst with enhanced power density in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2011, 2, pp.416. ⟨10.1038/ncomms1427⟩. ⟨hal-00739597⟩

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