Table of Contents
ISRN Nanotechnology
Volume 2011, Article ID 708045, 6 pages
Research Article

Study of Carbon Nanotube-Supported Platinum Nanocatalyst Fabricated with Sodium Formate Reducing Agent in Ethylene Glycol Suspension

Fuel Cell Research Laboratory, Engineering Technology Department, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA

Received 14 February 2011; Accepted 14 March 2011

Academic Editors: K. S. Coleman, E. Menna, and H. Tang

Copyright © 2011 C. W. Mason and A. M. Kannan. 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.


A simple method to prepare a durable, low platinum-loading catalyst layer for the cathode in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell is tested and described. Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) are functionalized with citric acid and then suspended in ethylene glycol. Here, platinum nanoparticles (~4 nm) are loaded onto the surface of the MWCNTs after hexachloroplatinic acid is reduced by aqueous sodium formate. A peak performance of 813 mW⋅cm−2 was achieved with a total membrane electrode assembly (MEA) platinum catalyst loading of 0.2 mg⋅cm−2 (0.1 mg⋅cm−2 anode/0.1 mg⋅cm−2 cathode), in H2/O2 (ambient pressure), at 80°C, with a Nafion 212 membrane. Peak power density only decreased by 23% after 1500 potentials cycles (ranged from 0.1 to 1.2 V, and vice versa, with a 50 mV/s scan rate, flowing H2/N2 at 80°C). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images show the morphology and distribution of the platinum nanoparticles loaded onto the surface of the MWCNTs.