Pt-Pd catalyst supported on nitrogen-doped carbon nanofiber (N-CNF) was prepared and evaluated as a cathode electrode of the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The N-CNF, which was directly synthesized by the catalytic chemical vapor deposition from acetonitrile at 640˚C, was verified as having a change of electrochemical surface properties such as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activities and the electrochemical double layer compared with common carbon black (CB). To attain the competitive oxygen reduction reaction activity with methanol tolerance, the Pt and Pd metals were supported on the CB or the N-CNF. The physical and electrochemical characteristics of the N-CNF-supported Pt-Pd catalyst were examined and compared with catalyst supported on the CB. In addition, DMFC single cells using these catalysts as the cathode electrode were applied to obtain I-V polarization curves and constant current operating performances with high-concentration methanol as the fuel. Pt-Pd catalysts had obvious ORR activity even in the presence of methanol. The higher power density was obtained at all the methanol concentrations when it applied to the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of the DMFC. When the N-CNF is used as the catalyst support material, a better performance with high-concentration methanol is expected.
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