Pt-Ru nanoparticles Supported on MWCNT as PEM fuel cell Electrocatalysts

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Support plays an important role in catalyst activity. Small particle size in catalysts provides a high contact area between active phase and the reagents, having as consequence a better activity. Multi Wall Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNT) are used as catalyst support due to their properties such as thermal stability and electron conduction among others [1]. In the last few years, MWCNT have been synthesized using a wide variety of methods; one of them is spray pyrolysis synthesis [2]; that presents advantages on other methods such as easiness to control operating conditions and scalable. It had been demonstrated that CNT are obtained using organometallic compounds as catalytic agents [3,4], such as ferrocene; nevertheless the residual iron needs to be removed after the synthesis. This work proposes the use of nickelocene as catalytic agent to grow MWCNT and use as support of Pt-Ru nanoparticles. The Pt-Ru precursors were deposited on MWCNT by ultrasound; the electrocatalysts were reduced using two different paths. Catalysts were characterized by SEM-EDS, TEM and XRD. MWCNT shows length of 30 microns and diameter between 50 and 70 nm. Pt, Ru and Ni nanoparticles were well dispersed on the external walls of the MWCNT with particles sizes under 10 nm (Figure 1). Synthesized nanostructured material could be considered as a good candidate for catalyst in PEM or Methanol fuel cells [5].

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2009: Biofuels, Renewable Energy, Coatings, Fluidics and Compact Modeling
Published: May 3, 2009
Pages: 436 - 438
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Carbon Nano Structures & Devices
ISBN: 978-1-4398-1784-1