Electrospun nanofiber electrodes for boosted performance and durability at lower humidity operation of PEM fuel cells

Iskandarani, Bilal and Rajabalizadeh Mojarrad, Naeimeh and Yürüm, Alp and Alkan Gürsel, Selmiye and Yarar Kaplan, Begüm (2022) Electrospun nanofiber electrodes for boosted performance and durability at lower humidity operation of PEM fuel cells. Energy and Fuels, 36 (16). pp. 9282-9294. ISSN 0887-0624 (Print) 1520-5029 (Online)

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The need for the development of new materials and strategies to enhance the performance of the PEM fuel cell at low humidity and platinum (Pt) loadings is becoming increasingly crucial. Due to this fact, the current study presents the fabrication of electrospun sulfonated silica (S-SiO2) as a poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-trifluoroethylene) (P(VDF-TrFE))-based, flexible, freestanding, and highly porous novel cathode structure for PEM fuel cells. The developed fiber-based P(VDF-TrFE)/Pt/C/S-SiO2 cathodes are compared with electrospun PVDF/Pt/C/S-SiO2, PVDF/Pt/C/Nafion, and conventionally sprayed electrodes to evaluate the utility of a new (carrier) P(VDF-TrFE) polymer in electrode structure. Morphological analyses revealed that S-SiO2 and Pt/C particles were homogeneously distributed along the fibers without any significant agglomerations. The MEAs prepared by fiber-based P(VDF-TrFE)-Pt/C/S-SiO2 cathodes with low Pt loadings (0.1-0.15 mg cmPt-2) demonstrated promising fuel cell performance recording up to 417.7 mW cm-2. It also exhibited a remarkable power output retention (98.2%) under partially humidified conditions. In situ electrochemical measurements reveal that enhanced particle distribution and Pt/S-SiO2 surface contact results in the cathode performance surpassing that of conventional sprayed and fiber-based PVDF/Pt/C/Nafion cathodes. The fiber-based P(VDF-TrFE)/Pt/C/S-SiO2 cathodes exhibited a promising durability record retaining up to 86.5% of their maximum power output after 30»000 cycles of a Pt-dissolution accelerated stress test (AST). Furthermore, P(VDF-TrFE)-Pt/C/S-SiO2 cathodes with high S-SiO2 loadings exhibited a 2.7% gain in maximum power density after 1000 cycles of a carbon corrosion durability test.
Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center
Depositing User: Selmiye Alkan Gürsel
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2022 16:53
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2022 16:53
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/44343

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