Ammar Bin Yousaf1 Peter Kasak1 Syed Zaidi1

1, Qatar University, Doha, , Qatar

The direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) has attracted considerable attention as one of the most promising green power sources during the last few decades. The selectivity and sensitivity of a support material on the anodic catalyst are very essential and can highly improve the performance of the DMFCs. However, Platinum is considered to be the most important catalyst that can be used for the electro-oxidation of fuel alcohol such as ethanol and methanol. In present study, one of the Pt-based tri-metallic catalysts has been developed. The catalyst comprising NiCu bimetallic alloy nanoparticles decorated with ultra-low Pt as shell onto bimetallic alloys. The overall nanocomposite material was supported on reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The reduced graphene oxide is considered to be a promising candidate to support the catalyst in DMFCs. The synthesis has been performed by using wet-chemical method. A series of Pt-NiCu/rGO nanocomposites were synthesized with different compositions and conditions to obtain the optimal conditioned material. Afterwards, morphological and structural characterizations of Pt-NiCu/rGO composites were performed by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), element mapping, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). All the physical characterizations revealed the successful formation of as-desired material. Moreover, the catalytic performance of this anode material was studied by cyclic voltametry (CV) and chronoamperometery (CA) for the whole series of Pt-NiCu/rGO catalysts. The electrochemical results showed good performance for the electro-oxidation of methanol at anodic end of DMFCs. The present study opened up a broad avenue for developing lower cost Pt-based catalysts with better performance in the field of DMFCs research.
Keywords: nanocomposite; we-chemical method; catalysts; anodes; direct methanol fuel cells
This work was made possible by NPRP grant # 9 – 219-2-105 from the Qatar National Research Fund (A Member of The Qatar Foundation). The finding achieved herein is solely the responsibility of the authors.