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Design of Pt/Carbon Xerogel Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells

Laboratory of Chemical Engineering—Nanomaterials, Catalysis, Electrochemistry, University of Liège (B6a), B-4000 Liège, Belgium
College of Food Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210046, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Minhua Shao
Catalysts 2015, 5(1), 40-57;
Received: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis in Fuel Cells)
PDF [3434 KB, uploaded 28 January 2015]


The design of efficient catalytic layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) requires the preparation of highly-loaded and highly-dispersed Pt/C catalysts. During the last few years, our work focused on the preparation of Pt/carbon xerogel electrocatalysts, starting from simple impregnation techniques that were further optimized via the strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA) method to reach high dispersion and a high metal weight fraction. The SEA method, which consists of the optimization of the precursor/support electrostatic impregnation through an adequate choice of the impregnation pH with regard to the support surface chemistry, leads to very well-dispersed Pt/C samples with a maximum 8 wt.% Pt after drying and reduction under H2. To increase the metal loading, the impregnation-drying-reduction cycle of the SEA method can be repeated several times, either with fresh Pt precursor solution or with the solution recycled from the previous cycle. In each case, a high dispersion (Pt particle size ~3 nm) is obtained. Finally, the procedure can be simplified by combination of the SEA technique with dry impregnation, leading to no Pt loss during the procedure. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon-supported Pt catalysts; PEM fuel cells; dispersion; catalyst synthesis; carbon xerogel carbon-supported Pt catalysts; PEM fuel cells; dispersion; catalyst synthesis; carbon xerogel

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Job, N.; Lambert, S.D.; Zubiaur, A.; Cao, C.; Pirard, J.-P. Design of Pt/Carbon Xerogel Catalysts for PEM Fuel Cells. Catalysts 2015, 5, 40-57.

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