Electrocatalyst Materials for Fuel Cells Based on the Polyoxometalates [PMo/sub (12-n)/V/sub n/O/sub 40/]/sup (3+n)-/ (n=0-3)

Bradford R. Limoges, Ronald J. Stanis, John A. Turner, Andrew M. Herring

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We report on the use of the polyoxometalate acids of the series [PMo (12- n)VnO40](3 + n)- (n = 0-3) as electrocatalysts in both the anode and the cathode of polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The heteropolyacids were incorporated as catalysts in a commercial gas diffusion electrode based on Vulcan XC-72 carbon which strongly adsorbed a low loading of the catalyst, ca. 0.1 mg/cm2. The moderate activity observed was independent of the number of vanadium atoms in the polyoxometalate. In the anode the electrochemistry is dominated by the V3+/4+ couple. With a platinum reference wire in contact with the anode, polarization curves are obtained with VOC of 650 mV and current densities of 10 mA cm-2 at 100 mV at 80°C. These catalysts showed an order of magnitude more activity on the cathode after moderate heat treatment than on the anode, VOC = 750 mV, current densities of 140 mA cm-2 at 100 mV. The temperature dependence of the catalysts was also investigated and showed increasing current densities could be achieved on the anode up to 139°C and the cathode to 100°C showing the potential for these materials to work at elevated temperatures.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1169-1179
Number of pages11
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2005

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-560-35565


  • Heteropoly acid
  • Hydrogen oxidation
  • Oxygen reduction
  • PEM fuel cell
  • Vanadium


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