A high-performance platinum electrocatalyst loaded on a graphene hydrogel for high-rate methanol oxidation†
Platinum (Pt)-based catalysts used in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) usually suffer from low catalytic activity, slow kinetics of methanol oxidation and poor electrochemical stability. This is mainly due to the toxic effect of carbon monoxide and inefficient use of the Pt catalysts. To address these problems, we immobilized Pt nanoparticles with diameters of 4–6 nm onto the three-dimensional (3D) interpenetrating graphene networks (graphene hydrogel or G-Gel) deposited in the micropores of nickel foam (NF). In this Pt/G-Gel/NF composite catalyst, nearly all the Pt nanoparticles are accessible to methanol and can be efficiently used for electrocatalyzation. It showed excellent electrochemical stability and an activity 2.6 times that of a conventional Pt/reduced graphene oxide (Pt/rGO) composite catalyst. Furthermore, the rate of methanol electro-oxidation at the Pt/G-Gel/NF catalyst can be about 27 times that at the Pt/rGO catalyst, making it applicable for fabricating DMFCs with high current and/or power outputs.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP’s 15th anniversary