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Title: Rapid screening of proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathode catalysts
Author: Kleszyk, Piotr Marcin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 8662
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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One of the major bottlenecks in catalyst development for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is the lack of fast high-throughput testing methods. Fast screening techniques enable a large number of catalysts to be tested in a relatively short time under the same conditions. This project was focused on developing systems for screening catalysts used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode of PEMFCs. The first system developed was the 64 channel pin electrode array, using liquid electrolyte. The developed method improved both the quality and reproducibility of the data and has been used to rank catalyst samples, as well as to optimize loadings and the preparative methods of inks. The second system developed was a 25 channel array fuel cell, which operated under conditions analogous to real fuel cell environments. Both methods allowed trends in characteristics and activities of a series of catalysts to be established more rapidly than individual single-electrode methods such as half cell, rotating disc electrode (RDE) or fuel cell. The results from the two high-throughput methods are compared to those of the single channel systems. The mass and specific activities towards reduction of oxygen were studied using a series of Pt/C and PtCo/C catalysts. The catalytic properties of the Pt based carbon-supported catalysts were related to their structure e.g. particle size and lattice parameter, which were obtained mainly using Xray diffraction (XRD). It was found that the results acquired using parallel screening methods were similar to those collected with a RDE and a fuel cell. The thesis concludes with suggestions regarding the future improvement/development of high-throughput techniques. For the 64 channel array system the problem associated with the corrosion of the components should be solved. Similarly, the major changes for the array fuel cell would be to modify a heating system and further development of the anode flow field.
Supervisor: Russell, Andrea Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QD Chemistry