Fuel Cell Performance Implications of Membrane Electrode Assembly Fabrication with Platinum-Nickel Nanowire Catalysts

Scott Mauger, Kenneth Neyerlin, Shaun Alia, Katherine Hurst, Bryan Pivovar, Chilan Ngo, Siddharth Babu, Svitlana Pylypenko, Shawn Litster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Platinum-nickel nanowire (PtNiNW) catalysts have shown exceptionally high oxygen reduction mass activity in rotating disk electrode measurements. However, the ability to successfully incorporate PtNiNWs into high performance membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) has been challenging due to their size, shape, density, dispersion characteristics, and corrosion-susceptible nickel core. We have investigated the impact of specific processing steps and electrode composition on observed fuel cell performance and electrochemical properties in order to optimize performance. We have found that nickel ion contamination is a major concern for PtNiNWs that can be addressed through ion exchange in fabricated/tested MEAs or by acid leaching of catalyst materials prior to MEA incorporation, with the latter being the more successful method. Additionally, decreased ionomer incorporation has led to the highest performance demonstrating 238 mA/mgPt (0.9 V IR-free) for PtNiNWs (pre-leached to 80 wt% Pt) with 9 wt% ionomer incorporation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)F238-F245
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume165
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-70607

Keywords

  • fuel cells
  • membrane electrode assembly
  • unsupported electrocatalyst

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