Graphitised carbon nanofibres as catalyst support for PEMFC

Elina Yli-Rantala (Corresponding Author), Antti Pasanen, Pertti Kauranen, V. Ruiz, M. Borghei, E. Kauppinen, A. Oyarce, G. Lindbergh, C. Lagergren, M. Darab, S. Sunde, M. Thomassen, S. Ma-Andersen, E. Skou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Graphitised carbon nanofibres (G‐CNFs) show superior thermal stability and corrosion resistance in PEM fuel cell environment over traditional carbon black (CB) and carbon nanotube catalyst supports. However, G‐CNFs have an inert surface with only very limited amount of surface defects for the anchorage of Pt catalyst nanoparticles. Modification of the fibre surface is therefore needed. In this study Pt nanoparticles have been deposited onto as‐received and surface‐modified G‐CNFs. The surface modifications of the fibres comprise acid treatment and nitrogen doping by pyrolysis of a polyaniline (PANI) precursor. The modified surfaces were studied by FTIR and XPS and the electrochemical characterization, including long‐term Pt stability tests, was performed using a low‐temperature PEMFC single cell. The performance and stability of the G‐CNF supported catalysts were compared with a CB supported catalyst and the effects of the different surface treatments were discussed. On the basis of these results, new membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were manufactured and tested also for carbon corrosion by in situ FTIR analysis of the cathode exhaust gases. It was observed that the G‐CNFs showed 5 times lower carbon corrosion compared to CB based catalyst when potential reached 1.5 V versus RHE in simulated start/stop cycling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-725
Number of pages11
JournalFuel Cells
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event2nd CARISMA International Conference “Progress in MEA Materials for Medium and High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells” - La Grande Motte, France
Duration: 19 Jul 201022 Sep 2010


  • Carbon Corrosion
  • Carbon Nanofibres
  • Catalyst Stability
  • Catalyst Support
  • Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
  • Surface Modification

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