Experimental investigation on DMFCs using reduced noble metal loading with NiTiO3 as supportive material to enhance cell performances

In this present work, the effect of anode electrocatalyst materials is investigated by adding NiTiO3 with Pt/C and Pt-Ru/C for the performance enhancement of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The supportive material NiTiO3/C has been synthesized first by wet chemical method followed by incorporation of Pt and Pt-Ru separately. Experiments are conducted with the combination of four different electrocatalyst materials on the anode side (Pt/C, Pt-NiTiO3/C, PtRu/C, Pt-Ru-NiTiO3/C) and with commercial 20 wt % Pt/C on the cathode side; 0.5 mgpt/cm2 loading is maintained on both sides. The performance tests of the above catalysts are conducted on 5 cm2 active area with various operating conditions like cell operating temperatures, methanol/water molar concentrations and reactant flow rates. Best performing operating conditions have been optimized. The maximum peak power densities attained are 13.30 mW/cm2 (26.6 mW/mgpt) and 14.60 mW/cm2 (29.2 mW/mgpt) for Pt-NiTiO3/C and Pt-Ru-NiTiO3/C at 80 °C, respectively, with 0.5 M concentration of methanol and fuel flow rate of 3 ml/min (anode) and oxygen flow rate of 100 ml/min (cathode). Besides, 5 h short term stability tests have been conducted for PtRu/C and Pt-NiTiO3/C. The overall results suggest that the incorporation of NiTiO3/C supportive material to Pt and Pt-Ru appears to make a promising anode electrocatalysts for the enhanced DMFC performances.