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Reducing the Pt load promises to reduce PEFC costs

By Chemical Engineering |

A technique for making PEFC electrodes with one fourth the amount of platinum catalyst compared to conventional PEFCs has been developed by Hosokawa Micron Corp. (Osaka, Japan; www.hosokawamicron.co.jp/en) in collaboration with professors Kiyoshi Kanamura, Tokyo Metropolitan University, and Makio Naitou, Osaka University. The method, known as mechanochemical bonding (MCB), produces stable, complex materials with a high performance level when used in the membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) of PEFCs. Naitou fabricated the composite catalyst, composed of commercially available platinum-carbon particles and tungsten-carbide particles. Kanamura fabricated the MEA by incorporating a Nafion membrane, and evaluated the MEAs power-generation characteristics. The scientists obtained similar power-generation characteristics as conventional systems even when reducing the Pt content by 75%. The enhanced catalyst activity is thought to be the result of increasing the electrochemically active surface created by MCB technology. The researchers believe the Pt load can be reduced by 90% through optimizing the fine structure of the particles. Hosokawa Micron is continuing to improve its AMS-Mini device for MCB applications.   Click here for a full…
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