Research on Non-Noble Anode Electrocatalyst of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

Abstract: In the electrode of PEMFC, Pt/C catalyst is most commonly used. For the lack of Pt material in the world, commercial application of PEMFC faces barriers. It becomes more and more important for finding out some non-noble metals to replace Pt. W, Mo and Co were studied in this paper. Catalysts were prepared by impregnation reduction, thermal reduction, advanced thermal reduction and sol-gel methods from these metals. Electrochemistry measurements, XRD, TEM were used to test these catalysts. The results showed that these metals have some electrocatalysis activities towards hydrogen oxidation reaction.Catalysts with different mass contents of metals were prepared to test the performance influenced by mass contents. When the metal element exists as oxide and is insulated to electronic conduct, carbon is necessary in the catalyst and the contents of the metal element couldn’t be increased unlimited. The Mo catalyst and the Co catalyst prepared by impregnation reduction did not have zero-valent metals, the catalysts were not able to resist corrosion. In these two kinds of catalysts, Co catalyst is the worse one to resist corrosion. When Mo and W were put in the Co catalyst, it would be more resistant to corrosion, but the catalysis activity was nearly not increased. Co contents will exist as zero-valent when it was prepared by thermal reduction. But it was not able to resist corrosion, either.Tungsten carbide and molybdenum carbide were prepared by thermal reduction, becoming W2C and WC or Mo_2C, respectively. For the existence of W2C, tungsten carbide catalyst is not resistant to corrosion very well. Mo_2C catalyst is able to resist corrosion. We tested three different preparation methods to fabricate Mo_2C catalyst. In the three methods, sol-gel method is the best, with the catalyst showed the highest catalysis activity. The catalyst prepared by advanced thermal reduction showed the medium catalysis activity. The normal thermal reduction is the worst. The particle sizes of the catalysts prepared by the three methods were increased. The particle sizes are 6nm, 10nm, 13nm, respectively.In the Mo_2C catalyst with 40% mass content of Mo_2C, the best one showe…
Key words: proton exchange membrane fuel cell; non-noble catalyst; tungsten carbide; molybdenum carbide

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