Platinum utilization in proton exchange membrane fuel cell and direct methanol fuel cell - Review

  • Madhavi Bandapati Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)- Pilani, Hyderabad Campus
  • Sanket Goel Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)- Pilani, Hyderabad Campus
  • Balaji Krishnamurthy Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)- Pilani, Hyderabad Campus
Keywords: Electrochemical active surface area, hydrogen adsorption, CO stripping, catalyst particle size, catalyst loading, catalyst dispersion, catalyst support


Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are increasingly used as substitutes to conventional energy systems. Their compact design, high energy density and efficient energy-conversion offer several advantages over existing energy systems with potential for use in a variety of applications. However, performance, robustness and cost are the key challenges to overcome before fuel cells can be commercialized. Even though the use of platinum (Pt) and platinum group metal (PGM) alloy catalysts provide higher performance and durability, they are at the same time the largest cost components which need to be addressed. This paper reviews different approaches adopted to enhance Pt utilization such as reducing Pt loading, decreasing Pt particle size, developing Pt free metallic alloy catalyst, improving Pt dispersion, developing membrane electrode assembly (MEA) fabrication methods, increasing mass-transport at the electrode surface and modifying the catalyst support materials. Finally, the performance optimization efforts for Pt utilization are summarized with insights into probable directions of future research in this area.


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