Oxygen Reduction Reaction Measurements on Platinum Electrocatalysts Utilizing Rotating Disk Electrode Technique: I. Impact of Impurities, Measurement Protocols and Applied Corrections

Kazuma Shinozaki, Jason W. Zack, Ryan M. Richards, Bryan S. Pivovar, Shyam S. Kocha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

272 Scopus Citations

Abstract

The rotating disk electrode (RDE) technique is being extensively used as a screening tool to estimate the activity of novel PEMFC electrocatalysts synthesized in lab-scale (mg) quantities. Discrepancies in measured activity attributable to glassware and electrolyte impurity levels, as well as conditioning, protocols and corrections are prevalent in the literature. The electrochemical response to a broad spectrum of commercially sourced perchloric acid and the effect of acid molarity on impurity levels and solution resistance were also assessed. Our findings reveal that an area specific activity (SA) exceeding 2.0 mA/cm2 (20 mV/s, 25°C, 100 kPa, 0.1 M HClO4) for polished poly-Pt is an indicator of impurity levels that do not impede the accurate measurement of the ORR activity of Pt based catalysts. After exploring various conditioning protocols to approach maximum utilization of the electrochemical area (ECA) and peak ORR activity without introducing catalyst degradation, an investigation of measurement protocols for ECA and ORR activity was conducted. Down-selected protocols were based on the criteria of reproducibility, duration of experiments, impurity effects and magnitude of pseudo-capacitive background correction. Statistical reproducibility of ORR activity for poly-Pt and Pt supported on high surface area carbon was demonstrated.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)F1144-F1158
JournalJournal of the Electrochemical Society
Volume162
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-65124

Keywords

  • activity
  • benchmark
  • measurements
  • ORR
  • platinum
  • protocol
  • TF-RDE

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