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International Heat Transfer Conference 16

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

TRIAL OF APPLYING GRAPHENE NANO PLATELET TO CATALYST LAYERS OF A PEFC

Abhay Kumar
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8628, Japan

Takumi Iiri
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8628, Japan

Takayasu Satake
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8628, Japan

Yutaka Tabe
Division of Energy and Environmental Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, Hokkaido University, N13 W8, Kita-ku, Sapporo 060-8628, Japan

Takemi Chikahisa
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8628, Japan

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC16.ecl.023510
pages 4151-4156


KEY WORDS: Fuel cell, Electrochemical transport, Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC), Graphene nano platelet (GNP), Proton conductivity, CV Measurement, Oxygen transport resistance.

Abstract

Graphene has been attracting serious attention of researchers due to its outstanding properties. Recent studies have revealed that apart from extremely high electrical conductivity, graphene also possesses quite impressive proton conductivity that makes it suitable to be used in PEFCs. In the present study, the authors introduce graphene nano platelets (GNPs) as a support material for platinum instead of conventional carbon support. GNPs being conductive to protons are expected to eliminate need for Nafion® ionomer in catalyst layer, therefore reducing the oxygen transport resistance and improving platinum utilization. Conventionally platinum nanoparticles supported on carbon support is mixed with solvents involving water, alcohol and Nafion® ionomer to make catalyst layer. The catalyst layer must act as electro catalyst as well as medium for species transport. The movement of electrons within the catalyst layer takes place through the carbon support and that of protons takes place through the ionomer. But the presence of ionomer significantly reduces gas concentration at platinum surface due to increase in oxygen transport resistance. Based on this idea, GNP based catalyst layer is developed and experiments have been done to test its performance. Electrochemical performance of the GNP based catalyst layer has been found to be comparable with the conventional catalyst layer. The performance of GNP based catalyst layer has been found to improve with increasing cell temperature and reducing ionomer concentration.

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