A highly-active, stable and low-cost platinum-free anode catalyst based on RuNi for hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells

Yanrong Xue, Lin Shi, Xuerui Liu, Jinjie Fang, Xingdong Wang, Brian P. Setzler, Wei Zhu, Yushan Yan*, Zhongbin Zhuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations

Abstract

The development of cost-effective hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells is limited by the lack of high-performance and low-cost anode hydrogen oxidation reaction catalysts. Here we report a Pt-free catalyst Ru7Ni3/C, which exhibits excellent hydrogen oxidation reaction activity in both rotating disk electrode and membrane electrode assembly measurements. The hydrogen oxidation reaction mass activity and specific activity of Ru7Ni3/C, as measured in rotating disk experiments, is about 21 and 25 times that of Pt/C, and 3 and 5 times that of PtRu/C, respectively. The hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cell with Ru7Ni3/C anode can deliver a high peak power density of 2.03 W cm−2 in H2/O2 and 1.23 W cm−2 in H2/air (CO2-free) at 95 °C, surpassing that using PtRu/C anode catalyst, and good durability with less than 5% voltage loss over 100 h of operation. The weakened hydrogen binding of Ru by alloying with Ni and enhanced water adsorption by the presence of surface Ni oxides lead to the high hydrogen oxidation reaction activity of Ru7Ni3/C. By using the Ru7Ni3/C catalyst, the anode cost can be reduced by 85% of the current state-of-the-art PtRu/C, making it highly promising in economical hydroxide exchange membrane fuel cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5651
JournalNature Communications
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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