Very High Performance Alkali Anion-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Authors

  • Kazuya Matsumoto,

    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819–0395, Japan
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  • Tsuyohiko Fujigaya,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819–0395, Japan
    • Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819–0395, Japan.
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  • Hiroyuki Yanagi,

    1. Tokuyama Corporation, Tsukuba Research Labolatories, 40,Wadai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki 300–4247, Japan
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  • Naotoshi Nakashima

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819–0395, Japan
    • Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819–0395, Japan.
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Abstract

Anion-exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) have emerged as an alter-native technology to overcome the technical and cost issues of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In this study, we describe a new electrocatalyst for AEMFCs composed of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), KOH-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) and platinum nanoparticles (Pt), in which the CNTs are wrapped by KOH-doped PBI at a nanometer thickness and Pt is efficiently loaded on the wrapping layer. In the electrocatalyst, it is revealed that the CNTs and the KOH-doped PBI layer function as electron- and hydroxide-conductive paths, respectively, and the large exposed surface of the Pt allows an effective access of the fuel gas. Quantitative formation of the well-defined interfacial structure formed by these components leads to an excellent mass transfer in the catalyst interface and realizes a high fuel-cell performance. Membrane electrode assemblies fabricated with the electrocatalyst show a high power density of 256 mW cm−2. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest value for AEMFC systems measured in similar experimental conditions.

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