(547d) Performance Characterization of Supported Palladium Catalysts for Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cells

Lin, S. S., Northwestern University

Recent study shows that direct formic acid fuel cells (DFAFCs) have great potential for powering portable electronics. In the direct fuel cell systems, formic acid offers higher theoretical electro-motive force (EMF) and lower fuel crossover flux through a Nafion® membrane as compared with methanol. It was found that the performance of direct formic acid fuel cells dramatically improved when the use of anode electrocatalysts shifted from the platinum-based catalysts to the palladium-based catalysts due to the higher tolerant to carbon monoxide. Furthermore, the use of noble metals in anode electrocatalysts can be effectively reduced by high surface area carbon support. In this study, the supported palladium catalysts with various compositions were used in preparing the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for direct formic acid fuel cells. The performance characterization of MEAs was carried out in an operating fuel cell to study the behavior of supported palladium catalysts as anode electrocatalysts. In addition, the on-line transmission FTIR spectroscopy and the gas chromatography were employed to study the gaseous products desorbed from the surfaces of the anode electrocatalysts.