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Open AccessArticle

Durability of Alternative Metal Oxide Supports for Application at a Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Cathode—Comparison of Antimony- and Niobium-Doped Tin Oxide

1
University Grenoble Alpes, University Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, Grenoble INP, LEPMI, 38000 Grenoble, France
2
Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier, UMR 5253, CNRS, Université Montpellier, ENSCM, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier CEDEX 5, France
3
Institut Universitaire de France (IUF), 75231 Paris CEDEX 05, France
4
Paxitech, 38130 Echirolles, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2020, 13(2), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13020403
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 14 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploration of Electrochemical Processes in Fuel Cells)
In this study, the resistance to corrosion of niobium-doped tin dioxide (Nb-doped SnO2, NTO) and antimony-doped tin oxide (Sb-doped SnO2, ATO) supports has been probed for proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) application. To achieve this goal, ATO or NTO supports with loose-tube (fiber-in-tube) morphology were synthesized using electrospinning and decorated with platinum (Pt) nanoparticles. These cathode catalysts were submitted to two different electrochemical tests, an accelerated stress test following the EU Harmonised Test Protocols for PEMFC in a single cell configuration and an 850 h test in real air-breathing PEMFC systems. In both cases, the dissolution of the doping element was measured either by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS) performed on the exhaust water or by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (X-EDS) analysis on ultramicrotomed membrane electrode assembly (MEA), and correlated to the performance losses upon ageing. It appears that the NTO-based support leads to lower performances than the ATO-based one, mainly owing to the low electronic conductivity of NTO. However, in the case of ATO, dissolution of the Sb doping element is non-negligible and represents a major issue from a stability point-of-view.
Keywords: proton-exchange membrane fuel cell; durability; degradation mechanism; metal oxide support; antimony-doped tin oxide; niobium-doped tin oxide; loose tube proton-exchange membrane fuel cell; durability; degradation mechanism; metal oxide support; antimony-doped tin oxide; niobium-doped tin oxide; loose tube
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dubau, L.; Maillard, F.; Chatenet, M.; Cavaliere, S.; Jiménez-Morales, I.; Mosdale, A.; Mosdale, R. Durability of Alternative Metal Oxide Supports for Application at a Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Cathode—Comparison of Antimony- and Niobium-Doped Tin Oxide. Energies 2020, 13, 403.

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