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Yuan Ze Fuel Cell Center
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Gas Diffusion Layer and Carbon-Related Technology

  • Date:2009-04-01 ~ 2009-04-06
  • Status:未完成 / Patent Apply-無 / Patent Authories-無
  • Info:Patent Number- / Patent Date-2009-04-01~2009-04-06


[Key Technology]
1. Control of carbon hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity
The technology is related to control the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of carbon paper or carbon fabric. Cold plasma or surface fluorination technique was used to enhance the superhydrophobic performance of carbon with high static contact angle > 160°. Electrochemical oxidation process enables the implantation of surface functional groups onto carbon surface, leading to the superhydrophilicity with low contact angle < 5°. These techniques are suitable for surface modification of gas diffusion layer in fuel cells or other energy storage devices.
2. Surface modification of carbon materials
The catalytic chemical vapor deposition technique was used to grow high-density carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on carbon paper or carbon fabric, forming high-performance gas diffusion layer (GDL). The as-grown CNTs with an average diameter of 10–30 nm can serve as good catalyst support. Due to their excellent surface area and high electrical conductivity, the carbon composites are expected to improve catalytic activity and electronic transport if the catalysts are well dispersed over the carbon.
3. Synthesis of carbon-supported Pt or Pt-Ru catalysts
The said catalysts can be prepared with controlled metal loading up to 30 wt% by maintaining an average metal particle size smaller than 5 nm. The catalysts can be used as electrode catalysts in fuel cells and other applications.
4. Preparation of pore structure in gas diffusion electrodes
The technology aims to prepare an excellent gas diffusion electrode (GDE), using well-defined tubular carbon nano-fibers as GDL with high gas diffusion coefficient. The optimization on the pore structure of the carbon film can be achieved through the correlation between pore size distribution and cell performance. If do so, the electrochemical performance of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) would be significantly enhanced.

[Research Target]
The goal of the next 5-year research is to enhance the efficiency of GDEs in fuel cell applications. We will integrate the above-mentioned technology with our previous experience.. The target is to provide MEAs of Pt loadings lower than 0.2 mg Pt/cm2 and with performance at 0.5 W/cm2 power output at 70℃, H2 fuel, and no back pressure. This target is set to match an efficiency better than 0.5 g Pt/kW for fuel cells. Concurrently, the development will be extended for DMFCs also.

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