Results of the work on the synthesis of highly effective nanocomposite platinum-containing oxygen reduction electrocatalysts for hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells are presented and ways of increasing their activity are considered. Fuel cells (FCs) represent the most promising renewable and environmentally friendly energy sources that can operate at low temperatures with high efficiency and with low or zero levels of hazardous waste. The main problem of fuel cells is that the oxygen reduction reaction is slowed down in relation to the hydrogen oxidation reaction, which leads to an increase in the overvoltage at the cathode and, as a result, to a decrease in the productivity of FCs. To solve this problem, the new methods are being developed for the synthesis of highly efficient platinum electrocatalysts, which currently have the best performance, since platinum has the highest specific catalytic activity among other materials used in low temperature FCs. The purpose of this work is to determine the optimal composition of reaction mixture and conditions for the preparation of a platinum based catalyst for oxygen electroreduction where Vulcan XC-72 nanodispersed carbon black is used as a carrier. We have worked out 6 methods for preparing Pt (40 %)/XC-72 catalysts. To evaluate the activity of the prepared catalysts and to determine the kinetic parameters of the oxygen reduction on them, cathodic stationary polarization curves were recorded in a 0.5 M H2SO4 solution on a floating gas diffusion electrode superficially modified by the catalysts. For preparation of all electrocatalysts we are used 3.6 ml of a hexachloroplatinic acid (H2PtCl6) solution, containing 18.8 mg Pt/ml, 100 ml of ethylene glycol or its mixture with deionized water (3 : 1) and 100 mg of Vulcan XC-72 carbon black, previously oxidized in HNO3 solution. 1 M NaOH or KOH solutions were used to create the necessary medium (pH = 11). Some Pt(40 %)/XC-72 electrocatalysts were prepared when additions of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) (100 mg or 300 mg) and/or 60 ml of formaldehyde were introduced into reaction mixture. Temperature during syntheses was in the range 75 - 160 °C. It was shown that reducing the synthesis temperature from 160 to 75 °C and introduction of PVP together with formaldehyde into reaction mixture had a positive effect on the activity of obtained nanocomposite platinum-containing catalysts Pt(40 %)/XC-72 for oxygen electroreduction.The sizes of the obtained platinum clusters on the surface of carbon black nanoparticles were in the range of 1.7 - 5.7 nm, and under optimal synthesis conditions they were evenly and densely distributed on the surface of the carbon carrier. The obtained kinetic characteristics of oxygen electroreduction on the studied catalysts indicate that the mechanism of this process depended on both the current density and the method of catalyst synthesis.
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