Recent progress in electrocatalysts with mesoporous structures for application in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

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Xing, Wei ; Wu, Zucheng ; Tao, Shanwen (2016)

Recently mesoporous materials have drawn great attention in fuel cell related applications, such as preparation of polymer electrolyte membranes and catalysts, hydrogen storage and purification. In this mini-review, we focus on recent developments in mesoporous electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, including metallic and metal-free catalysts for use as either anode or cathode catalysts. Mesoporous Pt-based metals have been synthesized as anode catalysts with improved activity and durability. Mesoporous carbons together with other inorganic materials are better supporting materials than conventional carbon black, which have a large surface area, high porosity and synergistic effect with metal particles. Pt supported on these materials has a small particle size, uniform distribution and good access to fuels, which performs better as fuel cell catalysts than commercial Pt/C. Some efforts such as further improvement in the conductivity and chemical stability of mesoporous carbon by chemical doping are stated. Moreover, metal free cathode catalysts based on heteroatom modified mesoporous carbon are also summarized.
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