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Impact of ionomer structuration on the performance of bio-inspired noble-metal-free fuel cell anodes

Nathan Coutard 1 Bertrand Reuillard 1 Tran Ngoc Huan 1 Fabrice Valentino 1 Reuben Jane 1 Solène Gentil 1, 2 Eugen Andreiadis 1 Alan Le Goff 2 Tristan Asset 3 Frédéric Maillard 3 Bruno Jousselme 4 Adina Morozan 1 Sandrine Lyonnard 5, 6 Vincent Artero 1, * Pascale Chenevier 5, *
* Corresponding author
1 SolHyCat - Solar fuels, hydrogen and catalysis
LCBM - UMR 5249 - Laboratoire de Chimie et Biologie des Métaux
3 EIP - Electrochimie Interfaciale et Procédés
LEPMI - Laboratoire d'Electrochimie et de Physico-chimie des Matériaux et des Interfaces
4 LICSEN - Laboratoire Innovation en Chimie des Surfaces et NanoSciences
NIMBE UMR 3685 - Nanosciences et Innovation pour les Matériaux, la Biomédecine et l'Energie (ex SIS2M)
5 STEP - Synthèse, Structure et Propriétés de Matériaux Fonctionnels
SYMMES - SYstèmes Moléculaires et nanoMatériaux pour l’Energie et la Santé : DRF/IRIG/SYMMES
Abstract : Molecular-engineered bio-inspired catalysts hold promise for the next generation of proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Yet, their implementation in catalytic layers with Nafion ionomer faces nanocomposite formulation issues. Here, we use various DuBois nickel catalysts immobilized on carbon nanotubes to exemplify how self-assembly at the mesoscale affects H2 oxidation anode performance. We exploited the reversible activity of these catalysts together with potential-step chronoamperometry to locally produce H2 and probe mass transport within the catalytic layer. Small-angle neutron scattering studies serve to build a model describing how the surface functionalization drives the structuration of the ionomer and affects the diffusion of protons and gas from and to catalytic centers. This study thus demonstrates that implementation of unconventional catalysts in catalytic layers requires the redesign of the whole system of materials. On the basis of such information, catalytic layer formulation was optimized, allowing order-of-magnitude performance enhancement of noble-metal-free PEMFCs
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Contributor : Frédéric Maillard <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 8:06:55 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 29, 2021 - 10:10:38 PM

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Nathan Coutard, Bertrand Reuillard, Tran Ngoc Huan, Fabrice Valentino, Reuben Jane, et al.. Impact of ionomer structuration on the performance of bio-inspired noble-metal-free fuel cell anodes. Chem Catalysis, Elsevier, 2021, 1 (1), pp.88-105. ⟨10.1016/j.checat.2021.01.001⟩. ⟨hal-03126604⟩



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