Since trace amounts of CO in H2
gas produced by steam reforming of methane causes severe poisoning of Pt-based catalysts in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), research has been mainly devoted to exploring CO-tolerant catalysts. To test the electrochemical property of CO-tolerant catalysts, chronoamperometry is widely used under a CO/H2
mixture gas atmosphere as an essential method. However, in most cases of catalysts with high CO tolerance, the conventional chronoamperometry has difficulty in showing the apparent performance difference. In this study, we propose a facile and precise test protocol to evaluate the CO tolerance via a combination of short-term chronoamperometry and a hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) test. The degree of CO poisoning is systematically controlled by changing the CO adsorption time. The HOR polarization curve is then measured and compared with that measured without CO adsorption. When the electrochemical properties of PtRu alloy catalysts with different atomic ratios of Pt to Ru are investigated, contrary to conventional chronoamperometry, these catalysts exhibit significant differences in their CO tolerance at certain CO adsorption times. The present work will facilitate the development of catalysts with extremely high CO tolerance and provide insights into the improvement of electrochemical methods.
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