Objective: The development of higher performance platinum on carbon black inks for Toray carbon paper electrodes, through improved manufacturing processes and use of fluorosurfactants.
- During production of carbon paper electrodes for the platinum catalyst layer is screen printed onto a highly teflonated carbon substrate.
- Organic solvents are often used to reduce surface tension and enable sufficient wetting of the teflonated substrate to produce well adhered ink layers.
- The organic solvents are highly flammable and present safety concerns for the fuel cell industry.
- Removing the need for such solvents is desirable.
What we did
- Assessed the manufacturing process and identified opportunities for reducing the requirement for organic solvents in the manufacturing process.
- Applied expert knowledge to shortlist and select novel fluorocarbon surfactants.
- Incorporated fluorocarbon surfactants into ink layer.
- Tested new electrodes using electrochemistry, mass spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and elemental analysis.
- Demonstrated that fluorocarbon surfactants do not impair the catalytic performance of fuel cell inks.
- Developed an alternative (simplified) method for preparing catalyst layers for fuel cell electrodes.
- Removed the need for pre-wetting electrode substrates with a highly flammable organic solvent.
- Reduced usage of organic solvents and associated disposal costs/processes.