Enhancement of Electrode Stability Using Platinum-Cobalt Nanocrystals on a Novel Composite SiCTiC Support
Millán Espinar, María
Zamora Triguer, Héctor
Rodrigo Rodrigo, Manuel Andrés
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PtCo alloy catalysts for high temperature PEMFCs (protonic exchange membrane fuel cells) were synthesized on a novel noncarbonaceous support (SiCTiC) using the impregnation method with NaBH4 as the reducing agent at different synthesis temperatures to evaluate the effect of this variable on their physicochemical and electrochemical properties. The catalysts were characterized by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscope–energy dispersive X-ray,and temperature-programmed reduction. In addition, the electrochemical characterization (i.e., cyclic voltammetry, oxygen reduction reaction, and chronoamperometry) was carried out with a rotating disk electrode. For the cyclic voltammetry investigation, 400 cycles were performed in hot phosphoric acid and a half-cell to evaluate the stability of the synthesized catalysts. The catalyst synthesized on SiCTiC exhibited excellent durability compared to the catalyst synthesized on a Vulcan support. In addition, all synthesized catalysts exhibited better catalytic activity than that of the PtCo/C catalysts. The best results were observed for the catalyst synthesized at 80 °C due to its shorter Pt–Pt nearest-neighbor and higher alloy degree. Finally, a preliminary stability test was conducted in an HT-PEMFC, and promising results in terms of stability and performance were observed.