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Duisburg, Germany

Marinkas A.,Saarland University | Arena F.,Saarland University | Mitzel J.,Saarland University | Prinz G.M.,University of Duisburg - Essen | And 3 more authors.
Carbon | Year: 2013

The reduction of the platinum amount for efficient PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cells was achieved by the use of graphene/carbon composites as catalyst support. The influences of the carbon support type and also of the catalyst preparation method on the fuel cell performance were investigated with electrochemical, spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Using pure graphene supports the final catalyst layer consists of a dense and well orientated roof tile structure which causes strong mass transport limitations for fuels and products. Thus the catalysts efficiency and finally the fuel cell performance were reduced. The addition of different carbon additives like carbon black particles or multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) destroys this structure and forms a porous layer which is very efficient for the mass transport. The network structure of the catalyst layer and therefore the performance depends on the amount and on the morphology of the carbon additives. Due to optimizing these parameters the platinum amount could be reduced by 37% compared to a commercial standard system. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Marinkas A.,Saarland University | Hempelmann R.,Saarland University | Heinzel A.,Fuel Cell Research Center GmbH | Peinecke V.,Fuel Cell Research Center GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2015

Abstract One of the biggest challenges in the field of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is to enhance the lifetime and the long-term stability of PEMFC electrodes, especially of cathodes, furthermore, to reduce their platinum loading, which could lead to a cost reduction for efficient PEMFCs. These demands could be achieved with a new catalyst support architecture consisting of a composite of carbon structures with significant different morphologies. A highly porous cathode catalyst support layer is prepared by addition of various carbon types (carbon black particles, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)) to multilayer graphene (MLG). The reported optimized cathodes shows extremely high durability and similar performance to commercial standard cathodes but with 89% lower Pt loading. The accelerated aging protocol (AAP) on the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) shows that the presence of MLG increases drastically the durability and the Pt-extended electrochemical surface area (ECSA). In fact, after the AAP slightly enhanced performance can be observed for the MLG-containing cathodes instead of a performance loss, which is typical for the commercial carbon-based cathodes. Furthermore, the presence of MLG drastically decreases the ECSA loss rate. The MLG-containing cathodes show up to 6.8 times higher mass-normalized Pt-extended ECSA compared to the commercial standard systems. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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