Poly[2,2′-(4,4′-bipyridine)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] functionalization of carbon black for improving the oxidation stability and oxygen reduction reaction of fuel cells
The rapid oxidation of carbon black (CB) is a major drawback for its use as a catalyst support in polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Here, we synthesize poly[2,20 -(4,40 -bipyridine)-5,50 -bibenzimidazole] (BiPyPBI) as a conducting polymer and use it to functionalize the surface of CB and homogenously anchor platinum metal nanoparticles (Pt-NPs) on a CB surface. The as-prepared materials were confirmed by different spectroscopic techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray, thermal gravimetric analysis, and scanning-transmittance microscopy. The as-fabricated polymer-based CB catalyst showed an electrochemical surface area (ECSA) of 63.1 cm2 mgPt1 , giving a catalyst utilization efficiency of 74.3%. Notably, the BiPyPBI-based CB catalyst exhibited remarkable catalytic activity towards oxygen reduction reactions. The onset potential and the diffusion-limiting current density reached 0.66 V and 5.35 mA cm2 , respectively. Furthermore, oxidation stability testing showed a loss of only 16% of Pt-ECSA for BiPyPBI-based CB compared to a 36% loss of Pt-ECSA for commercial Pt/CB after 5000 potential cycles. These improvements were related to the synergetic effect between the nitrogen-rich BiPyPBI polymer, which promoted the catalytic activity through the structural nitrogen atoms, and demolished the degradation of CB via the wrapping process.
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
CitationBerber, M.R. & Mustafa, M.Y. (2020). Poly[2,2′-(4,4′-bipyridine)-5,5′-bibenzimidazole] functionalization of carbon black for improving the oxidation stability and oxygen reduction reaction of fuel cells. RSC Advances, 10, 30776-30784.
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