Pd metal particles supported on a high surface area carbon black (Pd/CB) were covered with silica layers to improve the durability under severe cathode condition of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The performance and the durability of the silica-coated Pd/CB (SiO2/Pd/CB) were investigated by rotating disk electrode (RDE) in aqueous HClO4 and single cell test of the membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs). SiO2/Pd/CB showed excellent durability exceeding Pt/CB during potential cycle in single cell test as well as in RDE measurement while Pd/CB significantly degraded. Furthermore, the MEA using SiO2/Pd/CB as the cathode catalyst showed higher performance than that using Pd/CB even in the initial state. The catalytic activity of SiO2/Pd/CB was higher than that of Pd/CB, and the drop of the cell performances due to the inhibition of electron conduction, proton conduction, and oxygen diffusion by the silica layer was not significant. It has been shown that the silica-coating is a very practical technique that can stabilize metal species originally unstable in the cathode condition of PEMFCs without a decrease in the cell performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering