Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 46, Issue 22, pp 7198–7205 | Cite as

Use of single wall carbon nanohorns in polymeric electrolyte fuel cells

  • Lúcia BrandãoEmail author
  • Carolina Passeira
  • Daniele Mirabile Gattia
  • Adélio Mendes
Hyceltec 2009


Single wall carbon nanohorns (SWNH), produced by AC arc discharge in air, were used as Pt and PtRu supports in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). These electrocatalysts were compared with equivalent electrocatalysts supported on commercial carbon back. The SWNH were characterized by differential thermal analysis (DTA), TEM, SEM, and XRD. The produced SWNH were 84.5 wt% pure, containing 3 wt% of amorphous carbon and 12.5 wt% of graphitic carbon. SWNH were used as electrocatalyst supports and tested in the electrodes of two types of polymer electrolyte fuel cells: H2-fed PEMFC and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). The electrocatalyst nanoparticles anchored on both carbon supports were ca. 2.5 nm in diameter obtained by employing ethylene glycol as the reducing agent. The use of SWNH showed catalytic activities 60% higher than using carbon black as the electrocatalyst support in both types of fuel cells.


Carbon Black Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Peak Power Density Single Wall Carbon Nanohorns 



Lúcia Brandão is grateful to the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) for her post-doc grant (reference SFRH/BPD/41233/2007). Financial support by FCT through the project PTDC/EQU-EQU/70574/2006 is also acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lúcia Brandão
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolina Passeira
    • 1
  • Daniele Mirabile Gattia
    • 2
  • Adélio Mendes
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente e Energia (LEPAE), Faculdade de Engenharia do Porto, Rua Roberto FriasPortoPortugal
  2. 2.MAT-COMP, ENEARomeItaly

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