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Title page for ETD etd-01242019-221422

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Slack, John James
URN etd-01242019-221422
Title Next Generation Electrospun Nanofiber Electrodes for Hydrogen/Air Fuel Cells
Degree PhD
Department Chemical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Peter Pintauro Committee Chair
Janet Macdonald Committee Member
Kane Jennings Committee Member
Rizia Bardhan Committee Member
  • Nanofibers
  • Electrospinning
  • Fuel Cells
  • Energy
  • Hydrogen
Date of Defense 2019-01-23
Availability unrestricted
Fuel cells offer high energy-density and high power-density as sustainable, portable energy conversion devices. Obstacles to mass-market adoption of this technology include insufficient durability (power density retention after stress tests), low performance at realistic operating conditions (e.g. ≤40% relative humidity), and the high cost of materials (e.g. platinum catalyst). Through electrospinning and innovative catalyst ink preparation, this work addresses each obstacle by (1) improving durability of platinum-free electrodes using a Nafion and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) binder, (2) increasing power and durability of PtCo/C as a cathode catalyst in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with a Nafion/PAA binder, (3) analyzing MEAs with Pt/C and Nafion/PVDF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (4) using sol-gel chemistry before, during, and after the electrospinning process to create a hybrid organic/inorganic network binder (5) developing a catalyst ink which allowed for the removal of the carrier polymer resulting in a high performance neat Nafion nanofiber electrode MEA.
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