Nanotech 2011

Exploiting Nanotubes in Fuel Cells

M. Boyang
Imperial College London, UK

Keywords: nanotube, fuel cell


For many years, attempts to reduce the cost of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells have been halted by the large quantities of platinum required for their operation. This project explores the use of carbon nanotube thin films as a catalyst support to replace conventional carbon powders or paper in order to improve catalytic activity and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) performance, thereby reducing the use of platinum. Moreover, multi-layer carbon nanotube thin film structure is introduced to the generation of the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The multi-layer structure includes two kinds of thin film, one is macroporous and hydrophobic, and the other one is microporous and hydrophilic. The multi-layer structure shows good potential in enhancing the water management in PEMFC.

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