Acid Treatments of Carbon Nanotubes and Their Application as Pt-Ru/CNT Anode Catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Kim, Min-Sik; Lim, Sin-Muk; Song, Min-Young; Cho, Hyun-Jin; Choi, Yun-Ho; Yu, Jong-Sung;
Different oxidation treatments on CNTs using diluted 4.0 M solution at room temperature and or at reflux conditions were investigated to elucidate the physical and chemical changes occurring on the treated CNTs, which might have significant effects on their performance as catalyst supports in PEM fuel cells. Raman spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscope analyses were made for the acid treated CNTs to determine the particle size and distribution of the CNT-supported Pt-Ru nanoparticles. These CNT-supported Pt-based nanoparticles were then employed as anode catalysts in PEMFC to investigate their catalytic activity and single-cell performance towards oxidation. Based on PEMFC performance results, refluxed Pt-Ru/CNT catalysts prepared using CNTs treated at for 0.5 h as anode have shown better catalytic activity and PEMFC polarization performance than those of the commercially available Pt-Ru/C catalyst from ETEK and other Pt-Ru/CNT catalysts developed using raw CNT, thus demonstrating the importance of acid treatment in improving and optimizing the surface properties of catalyst support.