Best Practices and Testing Protocols for Benchmarking ORR Activities of Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts Using Rotating Disk Electrode

Shyam Kocha, Kazuma Shinozaki, Jason Zack, Deborah Myers, Nancy Kariuki, Tammi Nowicki, Vojislav Stamenkovic, Yijin Kang, Dongguo Li, Dimitrios Papageorgopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus Citations


Thin-film-rotating disk electrodes (TF-RDEs) are the half-cell electrochemical system of choice for rapid screening of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of novel Pt supported on carbon black supports (Pt/C) electrocatalysts. It has been shown that the magnitude of the measured ORR activity and reproducibility are highly dependent on the system cleanliness, evaluation protocols, and operating conditions as well as ink formulation, composition, film drying, and the resultant film thickness and uniformity. Accurate benchmarks of baseline Pt/C catalysts evaluated using standardized protocols and best practices are necessary to expedite ultra-low-platinum group metal (PGM) catalyst development that is crucial for the imminent commercialization of fuel cell vehicles. We report results of evaluation in three independent laboratories of Pt/C electrocatalysts provided by commercial fuel cell catalyst manufacturers (Johnson Matthey, Umicore, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo—TKK). The studies were conducted using identical evaluation protocols/ink formulation/film fabrication albeit employing unique electrochemical cell designs specific to each laboratory. The ORR activities reported in this work provide a baseline and criteria for selection and scale-up of novel high activity ORR electrocatalysts for implementation in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media New York (Outside the USA).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-68538


  • Benchmark
  • Best practices
  • ORR activity
  • RDE
  • Standard method


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