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Open Access The Role of Platinum in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

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Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) dominate the transportation fuel cell market and platinum (Pt) is the catalyst material used for both anode and cathode. This review sets out the fundamentals of activity, selectivity, stability and poisoning resistance which make Pt or its alloys the best available materials to use in this application. It is clear that Pt is the only element which can meet the requirements for performance while avoiding slow reaction kinetics, proton exchange membrane (PEM) system degradation due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation and catalyst degradation due to metal leaching. Some of the means by which the performance of Pt can be enhanced are also discussed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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