Carbon Monoxide-Resistant Anode Catalysts for Single-Cell Direct Carbon Monoxide Fuel Cells: Platinum-Ruthenium Anode Electrocatalysts

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Farshid Zabihian
Asad Davari
Gifty Osei-Prempeh


The objective of this paper is to present the results of experimentations on the state-of-the-art anode electrocatalysts and the membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) developed for direct carbon monoxide fuel cells (DCMFCs). The custom-made platinum-ruthenium (Pt-Ru) MEAs along with a commercial MEA were tested to evaluate the impacts of cell temperature, different types of fuel and oxidant, the flow rate of fuel and oxidant, and humidification temperature on the performance of the MEAs. It was shown that both the catalyst manufacturing process and the test procedure are repeatable. Also, it was shown that the performance of Pt-Ru cells when fueled by CO and CO-containing fuels was markedly inferior to that of hydrogen-fueled fuel cells. However, there were some promising signs that with the right catalysts and optimum operating conditions, the performance of DCMFCs can be significantly improved. It was also shown that increasing the operating temperature always improved the performance. While increasing the flow rates of the reactants improved the performance of the MEAs, there was a limit to this improvement. Furthermore, generally speaking, the performance of the MEAs was better when fed with CO rather than CO-N2 and O2 rather than air but the actual impact depended on other operating conditions.


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