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Fuel Cell Electrocatalyst Using Polybenzimidazole-Modified Carbon Nanotubes As Support Materials

Authors

  • Tsuyohiko Fujigaya,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 Japan
    2. International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (WPI-I2CNER), 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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  • Naotoshi Nakashima

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 Japan
    2. International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research (WPI-I2CNER), Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 Japan
    3. JST-CREST, 5 Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0075 Japan
    • Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka 819-0395 Japan.
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Abstract

Toward the next generation fuel cell systems, the development of a novel electrocatalyst for the polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is crucial to overcome the drawbacks of the present electrocatalyst. As a conductive supporting material for the catalyst, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have emerged as a promising candidate, and many attempts have been carried out to introduce CNT, in place of carbon black. On the other hand, as a polymer electrolyte, polybenzimidazoles (PBIs) have been recognized as a powerful candidate due to the high proton conductivity above 100 °C under non-humid conditions. In 2008, we found that these two materials have a strong physical interaction and form a stable hybrid material, in which the PBIs uniformly wrap the surfaces of the CNTs. Furthermore, PBIs serve as effective binding sites for the formation of platinum (Pt) nanoparticles to fabricate a ternary composite (CNT/PBIs/Pt). In this review article, we summarize the fundamental properties of the CNT/PBIs/Pt and discuss their potential as a new electrocatalyst for the PEFC in comparison with the conventional ones. Furthermore, potential applications of CNT/PBIs including use of the materials for oxygen reduction catalysts and reinforcement of PBI films are summarized.

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