Study of different nanostructured carbon supports for fuel cell catalysts

Daniele Mirabile Gattia*, Marco Vittori Antisari, Leonardo Giorgi, Renzo Marazzi, Emanuela Piscopiello, Amelia Montone, Serafina Bellitto, Silvia Licoccia, Enrico Traversa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Pt clusters were deposited by an impregnation process on three carbon supports: multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWNT), single-wall carbon nanohorns (SWNH), and Vulcan XC-72 carbon black to investigate the effect of the carbon support structure on the possibility of reducing Pt loading on electrodes for direct methanol (DMFC) fuel cells without impairing performance. MWNT and SWNH were in-house synthesised by a DC and an AC arc discharge process between pure graphite electrodes, respectively. UV-vis spectrophotometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and cyclic voltammetry measurements were used to characterize the Pt particles deposited on the three carbon supports. A differential yield for Pt deposition, not strictly related to the surface area of the carbon support, was observed. SWNH showed the highest surface chemical activity toward Pt deposition. Pt deposited in different forms depending on the carbon support. Electrochemical characterizations showed that the Pt nanostructures deposited on MWNT are particularly efficient in the methanol oxidation reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-251
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 20 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon nanostructures
  • Catalyst
  • Electro-catalytic activity
  • Fuel cell
  • Methanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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