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Catalysis for low-temperature fuel cells

AuthorsSebastián del Río, David ; Baglio, Vincenzo
KeywordsLow-temperature fuel cells
Fuel cells
Issue Date1-Dec-2017
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationCatalysts 7(12): 370 (2017)
AbstractToday, the development of active and stable catalysts still represents a challenge to be overcome in the research field of low-temperature fuel cells. Operation at low temperatures offers great advantages, such as quick start-up and longer stability, but demands the utilization of highly active catalysts to reduce the activation energy of the electrochemical reactions involved in the electrodes, and thus obtain practical performances and high efficiencies. At present, the best-performing catalysts in low-temperature fuel cells are based on highly-dispersed Pt nanoparticles [1]. However, these present several drawbacks, such as high cost, limited earth resources, sensitivity to contaminants, low tolerance to the presence of alcohols, and instability due to carbon support electrochemical oxidation and Pt dissolution [2,3,4]. In the search for alternative catalysts, researchers have pursued several strategies: increase of the utilization of Pt catalysts by means of novel structures (metal/support) [5,6]; alloying with earth-abundant and cost-effective transition metals [7,8,9]; new carbon and non-carbon supports [10,11,12,13]; cheaper platinum-group-metals like Pd [14,15,16]; non-platinum-group metals catalysts (Fe-N-C, Co-N-C, etc.) [17,18,19]; among others. This Special Issue (SI) is intended to cover the most recent progress in advanced electro-catalysts, from the synthesis and characterization to the evaluation of activity and degradation mechanisms, in order to gain insights towards the development of high-performing fuel cells.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/catal7120370
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