Functionalized carbon materials for high performances of PEM fuel cells

Abstract : In the development of the performances of PEM fuel cell, sulfonated Pt/Vulcan catalysts were prepared by grafting with either polystyrene sulfonate (PSSA) or with 4-phenysulfonic acid (PSA). The influences of the graft ratio, the amount of Nafion and the gas diffusion layer, on the electrochemical performances were studied in a half-cell and membrane electrode assembage (MEA). Larger electrochemical surface area of the catalyst was obtained in the presence of microporous layer on the carbon paper, as well as higher ORR current and lower charge transfer resistance. PSSA was grafted onto Pt/Vulcan catalysts by in-situ radical polymerization with 5, 10 and 20 wt.% sodium styrene sulfonate. It was presented in the half-cell tests and fuel cell tests that the catalysts grafted with 5 and 10 wt.% sulfonated groups performed improved properties. Pt/Vulcan catalysts were also grafted with 5.8, 11.6 18.0 and 23.3 wt.% PSA. Compared with non-functionalized catalysts, significant developments were achieved because of the sulfonation. The MEA with 18.0 wt.% PSA was studied in accelerated durability tests and showed excellent durability after 3000 cycles. For half-cells and MEAs with catalysts grafted with 5wt.% PSSA or PSA groups, low Nafion addition resulted in to lower performances. However, the MEAs with 10 and 20 wt.% PSSA exhibited an enhanced performance than the counterparts with 0.50 mg•cm-2 Nafion
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Yuzhen Xia. Functionalized carbon materials for high performances of PEM fuel cells. Other. Université de Lorraine, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014LORR0116⟩. ⟨tel-01750947⟩

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