Rational Design of Low-Pt and Pt-free Nanostructured Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells
Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Energy, Materials and Telecommunications
Abstract: As clean and sustainable energy conversion devices, Hydrogen fuel cells (H2-FCs) are expected to play dominant role in future clean energy solutions for various applications. However, the high cost of Pt catalyst is one of the main obstacles for the wide-spread commercialization of PEMFCs. Therefore, developing highly efficient low-Pt and Pt-free catalysts are the key to solve the above-mentioned challenges.
In this talk, I will present our recent progress in developing advanced electrocatalysts mainly for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in H2-FCs. Among the non-precious-metal (NMP, Pt-free) catalysts, Fe/N/C catalysts are considered one of the most promising ORR catalysts. One major breakthrough has been made by Dodelet et al, with activity and performance of Fe/N/C catalyst approaching to that of Pt. However, the durability of Fe/N/C catalysts is still insufficient for practical applications and its performance decay mechanism is still unclear. Very recently, we made a systematic study to verify whether iron is at the origin of the first rapid decay (stability problem) of the Fe/N/C catalyst for ORR in PEMFCs, which is important to find better ways to improve the durability of Fe/N/C catalysts. Moreover, other types of novel nanostructured NPM catalysts will also be discussed. At the same time, a series of low-Pt nanostructured electrocatalysts, synthesize by green chemistry and atomic layer deposition (ALD), including nanowires, nanotubes and single atoms, for fuel cells will also be presented.