Water soluble catalysts, (M)meso-tetra(N-Methyl-4-Pyridyl)Porphinepentachloride (M=Fe, Co, Mn & Cu), have been incorporated into the polymer binder of oxygen reduction cathodes in membrane electrode assemblies used in PEM fuel cells and found to support encouragingly high current densities. The voltages achieved are low compared to commercial platinum catalysts but entirely consistent with the behavior observed in electroanalytical measurements of the homogeneous catalysts. A model of the dynamics of the electrode action has been developed and validated and this allows the MEA electrodes to be optimized for any chemistry that has been demonstrated in solution. It has been shown that improvements to the performance will come from modifications to the structure of the catalyst combined with optimization of the electrode structure and a well-founded pathway to practical non-platinum group metal catalysts exists.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the Regents of the University of California for the management and operation of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This material is based upon work supported by the Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Program of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH1123. The government has certain rights in this invention.