Effects of Pt/C, Pd/C and PdPt/C anode catalysts on the performance and stability of air breathing direct formic acid fuel cells

Ping Hong, Fan Luo, Shijun Liao, Jianhuang Zeng
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy Volume 36, Issue 14, July 2011, Pages 8518-8524


Pt/C, Pd/C and PdPt/C catalysts are potential anodic candidates for electro-oxidation of formic acid. In this work we designed a miniature air breathing direct formic acid fuel cell, in which gold plated printed circuit boards are used as end plates and current collectors, and evaluated the effects of anode catalysts on open circuit voltage, power density and long-term discharging stability of the cell. It was found that the cell performance was strongly anode catalyst dependent. Pd/C demonstrated good catalytic activity but poor stability. A maximum power density of 25.1 mW cm−2 was achieved when 5.0 M HCOOH was fed as electrolyte. Pt/C and PdPt/C showed poor activity but good stability, and the cell can discharge for about 10 h at 0.45 V (Pt/C anode) and 15 h at 0.3 V (PdPt/C) at 20 mA.


  • A miniature air breathing DFAFC with focus on the effects of anode catalysts was designed and evaluated.
  • The cell performance, stability, Faradic/energy efficiency was strongly anode catalyst dependent.
  • Pd/C have good catalytic activity but with poor stability.
  • Pt/C and PdPt/C as anode catalyst have poor activity but with good stability.


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