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CHBE 565 Seminar, Dr. Jacob Spendelow, Los Alamos National Laboratory (Kenis), "New Fuel Cell Catalysts and Electrode Structures"

Event Type
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and International Paper Company
116 Roger Adams Laboratory
Sep 8, 2022   2:00 pm  
Christine Bowser

Polymer electrolyte fuel cell performance is limited mainly by the cathode, where poor oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) kinetics and slow transport of O2 to active sites lead to large overpotentials. State-of-the-art high surface area Pt alloy catalysts also suffer from poor durability due to loss of surface area (particle growth) and leaching of base metals. We have recently demonstrated that the use of intermetallic nanoparticle catalysts such as L10-PtCo can enable significant improvements in long-term performance due to improved stabilization of base metal in the ordered lattice. Recent results and future directions for this catalyst research will be discussed. While kinetic performance and durability of these catalysts is promising, performance at high power densities continues to be limited by slow O2 transport. Several factors, including slow diffusion through ionomer films, Knudsen diffusion through micropores, and pore blockage by liquid H2O contribute to these transport limitations. Design of unconventional electrode structures that can minimize these limitations is needed to enable full utilization of cathode catalysts. New hierarchical electrode structures capable of reducing these transport losses will be presented.

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