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New Approaches to Improved PEM Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers

Kusoglu, Ahmet, Regmi, Yagya ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6588-7683, Jessica, Luo and Danilovic, Nemanja (2020) New Approaches to Improved PEM Fuel Cell Catalyst Layers. Research Report. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States).

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Abstract

Polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel-cells are one of the most promising energy conversion technologies for renewable clean energy applications. A major challenge preventing their widespread commercialization is achieving high performance with lowloadings of platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts. One of the factors driving performance limitations in the cell is the mass transport losses within the cathode catalyst layers due to sluggish oxygen-reduction reactions occurring at the platinum-ionomer interface, which is believed to be linked to reduced transport of ions and oxygen. A viable solution to reduce the transport resistances in the catalyst layers is to create new ionomers that can provide good ion and oxygen transport needed to accomplish high-performing fuel cell catalysts. Characterization of transport properties of ionomers for various molecular architectures is the key step, in the effort to create and identify the optimized polymer structure with improved transport. Using this approach, Tetramer Technologies and LBNL propose improved fuel-cell catalyst ionomers based on Tetramers proprietary polymer chemistry, as highlighted under subtopic 17a Innovative Approaches Toward Discovery and Development of Improved Ionomers for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layer.

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