In this study, high current densities (i.e., 0.9 A cm2) have been obtained in a hydrogenair polymer electrolyte fuel cell using nanoscale tungsten carbide as the anode catalyst and carbon supported platinum as the cathode catalyst under normal operating conditions of 80 °C and 3 atm. These results show a possibility of replacing precious metal anode catalysts with transition metal compounds for hydrogen oxidation, thereby creating a fundamental technology to reduce the cost of future fuel cell engines. The tungsten carbide-based catalysts were synthesized by means of chemically reduced mechanical alloying. The high electrocatalytic activity toward hydrogen oxidation reaction is attributed to the inherent W-C valence and the unique nanostructure of synthesized carbides. These properties were confirmed by x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)