Bimetallic Platinum-Chromium Nanoparticles as electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs)

Gupta, Gaurav (2015). Bimetallic Platinum-Chromium Nanoparticles as electrocatalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are envisioned to replace internal combustion engines (ICEs) as vehicle power sources and to compete with conventional technologies in backup power systems, residential combined heat and power (CHP) devices and consumer electronics. However, the commercial viability is still hindered due to the cost and durability that are significantly related to the precious metal catalysts used in these cells. In the current work, two different methods towards reducing the precious metal content by the use of transition metal (Cr) with Pt as electrocatalysts for PEMFCs are reported. The commercial Pt/C catalysts layer consists of three components i.e. Pt, carbon support and Nafion ionomer. The Nafion ionomer binder does not penetrate through the microporous carbon support and thus limits the triple phase boundary region (catalytic reaction takes place at triple phase boundary), which in turn leaves a significant amount of Pt being inactive or not utilised. In the first part of this work, Nafion- stabilised Pt-Cr alloys are synthesised using a novel wet chemical synthesis. The aim of this work is to improve the triple phase boundary region with the introduction of Nafion during the synthesis and alloying with Cr that can enhance the catalytic activity. Thus, in turn improving the utilisation of the catalyst and also reducing the amount of Pt loading.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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