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Design of High-Quality Pt–CeO2 Composite Anodes Supported by Carbon Black for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Application

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A Pt on nano-sized CeO2 particles that in turn are supported on carbon black (CB) was synthesized using the co-impregnation method. This potential anode material for fuel cell applications was synthesized in a stepwise process. The pure CeO2 was synthesized using an ammonium carbonate precipitation method, and the Pt particles dispersed on the CeO2 in such a way that a uniform dispersion with the CB was obtained (Pt–CeO2/CB). The electrochemical activity of the methanol (CH3OH) oxidation reaction on the Pt–CeO2/CB was investigated using cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry experimentation. The onset potential of CH3OH oxidation reaction on the Pt–CeO2/CB anode was shifted to a lower potential as compared with that on commercially available Pt–Ru/carbon (C) alloy anode. In addition, the activation energy of the Pt–CeO2/CB anode was much lower than that of the Pt–Ru/C alloy anode. Moreover, the current density of the Pt–CeO2/CB anode was much higher than that of the Pt–Ru/C alloy anode at temperatures between 28° and 60°C. These results suggest that the anode performance of the Pt–CeO2/CB anode at the operating temperature of typical fuel cells (80°C) is superior to that of the more usual Pt–Ru/C alloy anode. Importantly, the rare metal, Ru, is not required in the present anode material and the amount of Pt required is also significantly reduced. As a consequence, we report a promising candidate Pt–CeO2/CB composite anode for application in the development of direct methanol fuel cells.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fuel Cell Materials Center, National Institute for Materials Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan 2: Faculty of Engineering, Saitama University, Sakura-ku, Saitama City, Saitama 338-8570, Japan 3: Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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