Effect of a Nitrogen-Doped PtRu/Carbon Anode Catalyst on the Durability of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

A. R. Corpuz, T. S. Olson, P. Joghee, S. Pylypenko, A. A. Dameron, H. N. Dinh, K. J. O'Neill, K. E. Hurst, G. Bender, T. Gennett, B. S. Pivovar, R. M. Richards, R. P. O'Hayre

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Electrochemical performance and durability of PtRu supported on N-doped Vulcan is evaluated as an anode in membrane electrode assembly (MEA) single-cell direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) studies. This material is compared to two reference materials, an in-house PtRu catalyst supported on undoped Vulcan, prepared under the same conditions as the N-doped material besides doping, and a commercial PtRu/C (JM5000). Durability was tested out to 645 h, with periodic interruption for electrochemical testing. After durability, the MEA with N-doped PtRu/C retained more electrochemically active metal on the anode than the MEAs with commercial PtRu/C and undoped PtRu/C (124 compared to 106 and 82 cm 2 anode active area per cm 2 geometric surface area, respectively). From cathode CO stripping experiments and SEM-EDS studies, it was determined that the MEA with the undoped PtRu/C anode has twice as much ruthenium crossover as the MEA with the N-doped PtRu/C anode. Overall, the MEA with N-doped PtRu/C demonstrates significantly better methanol:air polarization performance compared to the MEA with undoped PtRu/C, and performs comparably to the MEA made with the commercial PtRu/C. The increase in durability for the MEA with the N-doped anode is attributed to nitrogen doping mitigating both anode metal dissolution and Ru crossover.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)142-151
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-57546


  • Anode
  • Durability
  • Fuel cell
  • Membrane electrode assembly
  • Nitrogen doping
  • Platinum ruthenium


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