Ternary alloy nanoparticles for polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrocatalysts

Walker, James Stewart ORCID: 0000-0002-0487-8190 (2020). Ternary alloy nanoparticles for polymer electrolyte fuel cell electrocatalysts. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The commercialisation of polymer electrolyte fuel cells has been slow, despite the potential role that they could play in the global energy transition that is underway. The economic viability of these fuel cells has been limited by the expensive catalysts used in their electrodes, which are typically composed of platinum metal nanoparticles. Significant research effort has been devoted to developing novel catalysts with reduced platinum content, often through alloying platinum with cheaper metals.
This work concerns methods developed to prepare novel catalyst nanoparticles composed of varying mixtures of ruthenium, selenium and platinum. Further, this report elaborates on subsequent efforts to characterise those nanoparticles physically and chemically, to understand how their composition and morphology was influenced by the parameters of the synthetic reactions used in their preparation. The prepared nanoparticles were also subjected to heat and acid treatments, intended to optimise their surfaces for enhanced catalysis, and the methods used for these treatments are described, alongside further characterisation work aimed at understanding the utility and impact of those treatments.
Finally, the culmination of this work is in the electrocatalytic testing of those catalyst nanoparticles. These experiments were developed to ascertain the degree to which the prepared materials showed promise as possible alternative catalysts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10963


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