Molybdenum carbide synthesis using plasmas for fuel cells
Lugge, John J.
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Currently, carbon is the preferred support material for platinum catalyst particles used in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Carbon possesses qualities needed for a fuel cell catalyst: high surface area and conductivity, but is unacceptable as it is prone to oxidization by carbon dioxide in the fuel cell environment. Molybdenum Carbides is known to have the required conductivity. However, making Mo2C with sufficient surface area and with stabilized platinum remains a materials challenge. In this work a novel approach, a variation on the Aerosol-Through-Plasma (ATP) method was employed for making Mo2C with high surface area and stable supported platinum particles. An ammonium molybdate precursor was processed through different ATP conditions to generate the catalyst. These particles were then characterized using X-ray diffraction and SEM techniques in order to produce a support material with the highest concentration of Mo2C. Using the ideal conditions for the ATP, precursor was loaded with platinum and then processed through the ATP. This sample was then characterized using X-ray and SEM techniques to insure that the material was suitable prior to testing the electrochemical properties under PEFC operating conditions. The results were then compared to other leading support catalysis.
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