Study of Oxide Supports for PEFC Catalyst
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEFC) systems for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) require both performance and durability. Carbon is the typical support material used for PEFC catalysts. However, hydrogen starvation at the anode causes high electrode potential states (e.g., 1.3 V with respect to the reversible hydrogen electrode) that result in severe carbon support corrosion. Serious damage to the carbon support due to hydrogen starvation can lead to irreversible performance loss in PEFC systems. To avoid such high electrode potentials, FCV PEFC systems often utilize cell voltage monitor systems (CVMs) that are expensive to use and install. Simplifying PEFC systems by removing these CVMs would help reduce costs, which is a vital part of popularizing FCVs. However, one precondition for removing CVMs is the adoption of a durable support material to replace carbon.