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The next generation solid acid fuel cell electrodes: stable, high performance with minimized catalyst loading

Lohmann, F. P., Schulze, P. S. C., Wagner, M., Naumov, O., Lotnyk, A., Abel, B., Varga, Á.
Journal of materials chemistry A 2017 v.5 no.29 pp. 15021-15025
carbon nanotubes, catalysts, electrochemistry, electrodes, electrolytes, fuel cells, hydrogen, microparticles, temperature
Low electrode impedance paired with low catalyst loading in intermediate and low temperature fuel cells is extremely difficult to achieve, posing a major obstacle to commercialization. Here we demonstrate a scalable and facile route to obtain nanostructured composite solid acid fuel cell electrodes consisting of Pt decorated carbon nanotubes and CsH₂PO₄ microparticles as the electrolyte. Electrochemical impedance measurements in humidified hydrogen at 240 °C show very low 0.05 Ω cm² area normalized electrode resistance, with a Pt loading of only 0.41 mgPₜ cm⁻². This is a reduction of the Pt loading by more than one order of magnitude paired with even lower electrode impedance values compared to the current state-of-the-art in literature. Fuel-cell measurements show remarkably stable electrode performance over a 17 h period with a final degradation rate of 0.1% h⁻¹.