Transfer of ex-situ measured properties to in-situ application of new high performance PEMFC electrocatalysts
Polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology enables clean and efficient energy conversion with high energy density and is considered to be a key source of power in a future society based on renewable and sustainable energy. However, the widespread uptake of such devices depends on improvements to the catalysts at their electrodes. Due to the poor reaction kinetics currently high loadings of the scarce and expensive noble metal platinum are used in fuel cells. The collaboration between the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology (CEET) from Graz University of Technology (TUG) and the Materials Chemistry Department of the National Institute of Chemistry (NIC) located in Ljubljana aims at improving the reaction kinetics and the long-term stability of the catalysts by alloying platinum with abundant transition metals, such as Copper, ultimately leading to the reduction of the noble metal loading in fuel cells, thus decreasing their production costs.