Gram-scale synthesis of defective graphene foam from low-cost precursors is reported as a catalyst support material for platinum in fuel cell cathodes. The material was produced by combustion of sodium ethoxide, followed by washing and heat-treatment in various gases. The BET surface area is higher than 1500 m2/g. The defects in the material result in excellent distribution of platinum nanoparticles on the surface. The electrochemical performance is compared with platinum-decorated carbon black and commercially obtainable graphene using cyclic voltammetry, linear sweep voltammetry, andmembrane electrode assemblies. Pt-decorated grapheme foam has larger electrochemical surface area (101 m2/g) and higher mass activity (176 A/gPt). However, durability and fuel cell power density still require improvements. This graphene foam is a potentially useful catalyst support, especially for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.
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