A comparison of catalyst application techniques for membrane electrode assemblies in SO2 depolarized electrolysers
Dreyer, Herbert Morgan Evans
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Hydrogen production via the electrolysis of water has gained a lot of attention in the last couple of years. Research related to electrolysers is mostly aimed towards decreasing the noble–metal catalyst content. In this study the presently used catalyst application techniques were reviewed and critically examined to find commercially applicable and effective methods. Selected methods were then practically applied to determine their feasibility and to gain “know–how” related to the practical application of these techniques. The selected techniques were the hand paint, inkjet print, screen print and spray paint techniques. Meaningful comparisons were made between the methods in terms of parameters such as practicality, waste of catalyst and microstructure. The results point out that the hand paint and spray paint methods are feasible methods although there are improvements to be made. The hand paint method was improved by applying a carbon micro porous layer to the gas diffusion layer before the painting is carried out. The addition of the carbon layer reduced the soaking of the catalyst–containing ink through the gas diffusion layer. A method not initially investigated was identified an evaluated and showed promising results in lowering the mass of catalyst applied. This method comprised of sputtering a layer of catalyst material onto a prepared gas diffusion layer. It also came to light from the results that electrodes, and therefore membrane electrode assemblies, can be produced at a much lower cost than the commercial available membrane electrode assemblies.
- ETD@PUK