Functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube-based fuel cell benchmarked against US DOE 2017 technical targets

Sci Rep. 2013;3:2257. doi: 10.1038/srep02257.


Chemically modified single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) with varying degrees of functionalization were utilized for the fabrication of SWNT thin film catalyst support layers (CSLs) in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), which were suitable for benchmarking against the US DOE 2017 targets. Use of the optimum level of SWNT -COOH functionality allowed the construction of a prototype SWNT-based PEMFC with total Pt loading of 0.06 mg(Pt)/cm²--well below the value of 0.125 mg(Pt)/cm² set as the US DOE 2017 technical target for total Pt group metals (PGM) loading. This prototype PEMFC also approaches the technical target for the total Pt content per kW of power (<0.125 g(PGM)/kW) at cell potential 0.65 V: a value of 0.15 g(Pt)/kW was achieved at 80°C/22 psig testing conditions, which was further reduced to 0.12 g(Pt)/kW at 35 psig back pressure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bioelectric Energy Sources*
  • Catalysis
  • Electrochemistry
  • Electrodes
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes, Carbon / ultrastructure


  • Nanotubes, Carbon