Advances in non-platinum catalysis for the hydrogen oxidation and hydrogen evolution reactions

Allerston, Laura Katie (2020). Advances in non-platinum catalysis for the hydrogen oxidation and hydrogen evolution reactions. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The development of non-Pt hydrogen oxidation reaction catalysts for hydrogen-fuelled polymer electrolyte fuel cells allows for an overall reduction in electrode Pt content and can reduce the industry reliance on this catalyst. Herein, a novel ternary alloy catalyst supported on carbon, PdIrAu/C, has been synthesised, characterised, and compared to the binary PdIr/C catalyst to show how the addition of Au improves the stability of the catalyst. Transmission electron microscopy was utilised to analyse electrode structure as a function of the synthesis method, showing the optimum annealing temperature, of those tested, to be 400 °C, while inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and in-situ testing provided analysis of the degradation of the two catalysts, confirming the PdIrAu/C catalyst is more stable when assessed by accelerated stress tests at potentials similar to those at a fuel cell anode than PdIr/C. Comparison of the catalysts after 1000 ASTs showed PdIrAu provided an overall better polarisation curve and a significant 36% higher current density at 0.6 V compared with PdIr.

Non-Pt hydrogen evolution catalysts for electrolysers are discussed and method development for a new synthesis method utilising a lower temperature and therefore a safer reaction than the common production techniques is presented. The resulting Ni2P catalyst imaging is presented showing the synthesis method was successful. Robust test methods were created and assessed throughout this body of work and a thorough example of one method is presented, showing the production of MEAs for experimental purposes and concluding, through use of X-ray CT and ex-situ testing, the addition of ionomer to commercial MEAs reduces the surface area and performance and therefore is not required.

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: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry


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