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Surface Adsorption Affects the Performance of Alkaline Anion-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 31.08.2018, 00:00 by Sandip Maurya, Joseph H. Dumont, Claudia Narvaez Villarrubia, Ivana Matanovic, Dongguo Li, Yu Seung Kim, Sangtaik Noh, Junyoung Han, Chulsung Bae, Hamish A. Miller, Cy H. Fujimoto, Dario R. Dekel
Material interactions at the polymer electrolytes–catalyst interface play a significant role in the catalytic efficiency of alkaline anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs). In this work, the surface adsorption behaviors of the cation–hydroxide–water and phenyl groups of polymer electrolytes on Pd- and Pt-based catalysts are investigated using two Pd-based hydrogen oxidation catalystsPd/C and Pd/C-CeO2and two Pt-based catalystsPt/C and Pt-Ru/C. The rotating disk electrode study and complementary density functional theory calculations indicate that relatively low coadsorption of cation–hydroxide–water of the Pd-based catalysts enhances the hydrogen oxidation activity, yet substantial hydrogenation of the surface adsorbed phenyl groups reduces the hydrogen oxidation activity. The adsorption-driven interfacial behaviors of the Pd- and Pt-based catalysts correlate well with the AEMFC performance and short-term stability. This study gives insight into the potential use of non-Pt hydrogen oxidation reaction catalysts that have different surface adsorption characteristics in advanced AEMFCs.