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Methanol-tolerant oxygen reduction catalysts based on transition metal sulfides and their application to the study of methanol permeation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robert Reeve, Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD, Professor Andrew Hamnett, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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The oxygen reduction activity and methanol tolerance of a range of transition metal sulfide electrocatalysts have been evaluated in a liquid-feed solid-polymer-electrolyte direct methanol fuel cell. These catalysts were prepared in high surface area form by direct synthesis onto various surface functionalized carbon blacks. Of the materials tested, catalysts based on MaRu5S5/Ketjen black (Ma = Rh or Re) were found to be the most active, and a cell utilizing a RhRu5.9S4.7/Ketjen black cathode gave working cell voltages at 100 mA cm-2 within 100 and 80 mV of that obtained using a Pt cathode for 2 and 4 M methanol anode feed concentrations, respectively, where methanol permeation gave rise to appreciable degradation in Pt performance. Performance could be further enhanced in the cell by increases in methanol feed concentration and pressure. Finally, the low level of activity of our cathode catalysts to methanol electro-oxidation allows us, for the first time, to measure methanol permeation in Nafion-based fuel cells under realistic operational conditions. We have modelled this flow, and used our data both to verify the model and to establish sensible parameters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Christensen PA; Scott K; Hamnett A; Reeve RW; Dickinson AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Electrochimica Acta

Year: 2000

Volume: 45

Issue: 25-26

Pages: 4237-4250

ISSN (print): 0013-4686

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3859

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0013-4686(00)00556-9


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