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Nat Commun. 2011 Aug 2;2:416. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1427.

Iron-based cathode catalyst with enhanced power density in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

Author information

1
Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Varennes, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

H(2)-air polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells are electrochemical power generators with potential vehicle propulsion applications. To help reduce their cost and encourage widespread use, research has focused on replacing the expensive Pt-based electrocatalysts in polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells with a lower-cost alternative. Fe-based cathode catalysts are promising contenders, but their power density has been low compared with Pt-based cathodes, largely due to poor mass-transport properties. Here we report an iron-acetate/phenanthroline/zeolitic-imidazolate-framework-derived electrocatalyst with increased volumetric activity and enhanced mass-transport properties. The zeolitic-imidazolate-framework serves as a microporous host for phenanthroline and ferrous acetate to form a catalyst precursor that is subsequently heat treated. A cathode made with the best electrocatalyst from this work, tested in H(2)-O(2,) has a power density of 0.75 W cm(-2) at 0.6 V, a meaningful voltage for polymer-electrolyte-membrane fuel cells operation, comparable with that of a commercial Pt-based cathode tested under identical conditions.

PMID:
21811245
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms1427
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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