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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 276205, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/276205
Research Article

Investigation of IrO2/Pt Electrocatalysts in Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells

1CNR-Istituto di Tecnologie Avanzate per l'Energia “Nicola Giordano” (ITAE), Via Salita S. Lucia sopra Contesse 5, 98126 Messina, Italy
2Tozzi Apparecchiature Elettriche S.p.A., Via Zuccherificio, 10-48010 Mezzano, Italy
3Centro de Investigacióny Desarrollo Tecnológico en Electroquímica S.C., 76700 Querétaro Sanfandila, QRO, Mexico

Received 4 April 2011; Revised 16 May 2011; Accepted 8 June 2011

Academic Editor: Elena Pastor Tejera

Copyright © 2011 V. Baglio et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

IrO2/Pt catalysts (at different concentrations) were synthesized by incipient wetness technique and characterized by XRD, XRF, and SEM. Water electrolysis/fuel cell performances were evaluated in a 5 cm2 single cell under Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell (URFC) configuration. The IrO2/Pt composition of 14/86 showed the highest performance for water electrolysis and the lowest one as fuel cell. It is derived that for fuel cell operation an excess of Pt favours the oxygen reduction process whereas IrO2 promotes oxygen evolution. From the present results, it appears that the diffusion characteristics and the reaction rate in fuel cell mode are significantly lower than in the electrolyser mode. This requires the enhancement of the gas diffusion properties of the electrodes and the catalytic properties for cathode operation in fuel cells.