The Dissolution Dilemma for low Pt Loading Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Catalysts

27 August 2020, Version 1


Cost and lifetime currently hinder widespread commercialization of polymer electrolyte
membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Reduced electrode Pt loadings lower costs; however, the impact
of metal loading (on the support) and its relation to degradation (lifetime) remain unclear. The
limited research on these parameters stems from synthetic difficulties and lack of in situ
analytics. This study addresses these challenges by synthesizing 2D and 3D Pt/C model catalyst
systems via two precise routes and systematically varying the loading. Pt dissolution was
monitored using on-line inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (on-line-ICP-MS), while
X-ray spectroscopy techniques were applied to establish the oxidation states of Pt in correlation
with metal loading. Dissolution trends emerge which can be explained by three particle
proximity dependent mechanisms: (1) shifts in the Nernst dissolution potential, (2) redeposition,
and (3) alteration of Pt oxidation states. These results identify engineering limitations, which
should be considered by researchers in fuel cell development and related fields.


fuel cells
Pt dissolution

Supplementary materials

Sandbeck et al. SI


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.