Corbin Livingston, ’16

Dominguez, C., Metz, K. M., Hoque, M. K., Browne, M. P., Esteban-Tejeda, L., Livingston, C. K., et al. (2018). Continuous Flow Synthesis of Platinum Nanoparticles in Porous Carbon as Durable and Methanol-Tolerant Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Chemelectrochem, 5(1), 62-70.

Abstract: The development and commercialization of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) as energy conversion devices remains a challenge despite their advantages in terms of energy density and energy-conversion efficiency. The bottleneck for the development of DMFCs is mainly caused by the sluggish kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode of fuel cells, and the effect of the so-called methanol crossover in state-of-the-art Pt/C electrocatalysts. Herein, we report for the first time an easily scalable continuous flow method based on ultraspray pyrolysis (USP) for the preparation of Pt nanoparticles directly embedded on highly porous carbon spheres. A study on the effect that post-synthesis treatment procedures have on the level of graphitization and catalytic properties is described. Use of USP results in a substantial reduction of the final Pt content with respect to typical Pt/C electrocatalysts, while yielding also excellent durability and tolerance to methanol crossover under acidic conditions. These results demonstrate that the USP method reported herein is a good candidate for its use in the preparation of ORR catalysts in commercial applications.

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