An advanced cathode design can improve the power performance and durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), thus reducing the stack cost of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). Recent studies on highly active Pt alloy catalysts, short-side-chain polyfluorinated sulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer and 3D-ordered electrodes have imparted PEMFCs with boosted power density. To achieve the compacted stack target of 6 kW/L or above for the wide commercialization of FCVs, developing available cathodes for high-power-density operation is critical for the PEMFC. However, current developments still remain extremely challenging with respect to highly active and stable catalysts in practical operation, controlled distribution of ionomer on the catalyst surface for reducing catalyst poisoning and oxygen penetration losses and 3D (three-dimensional)-ordered catalyst layers with low Knudsen diffusion losses of oxygen molecular. This review paper focuses on impacts of the cathode development on automotive fuel cell systems and concludes design directions to provide the greatest benefit.
- Fuel cell vehicles
- Mass transport
- Proton exchange membrane fuel cell
- Catalyst layer
- Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)