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Synthesis of some metalophthalocyanines and their effects on the performance of pem fuel cells

Erkan, Serdar
Importance of clean, sustainable and renewable energy sources are increasing gradually because of either being environmental friendly or being alternative for fossil fuels. Hydrogen energy system will let the utilization of alternative energy sources. Fuel cells are the most suitable energy conversion devices while passing through the hydrogen economy. The cost of the fuel cell systems need to be reduced in order to achieve commercialization of these systems. One of the most important cost items is platinum which is used as catalyst both in anode and cathode sides of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Not only is the cost of the platinum, but also the limited reservoir of the platinum is a handicap. Therefore, the utilization of the cheap replacements of platinum catalysts will accelerate the process of commercialization. Because of their highly conjugated structure and high chemical stability metalo phthalocyanines have been encouraging electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction. Therefore, electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction in fuel cells was studied with some metalo phthalocyanines and some positive effects have been observed. In this study, phthalocyanines of cobalt, iron and nickel were synthesized via phthalic anhydride-urea method and characterized by IR Spectrophotometry, X-Ray Diffractometry and Thermal Gravimetry (TGA). Catalyst materials were prepared by impregnation method such that they contain either 4% cobalt, 4% or 10% iron or 4% nickel phthalocyanines on carbon black (Vulcan XC72) structure. Impregnated catalysts were pyrolyzed at 600oC or 1000oC and cathode electrodes were prepared by these catalysts as well as unpyrolyzed ones by spraying technique. The impregnated catalysts were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and pore structures were analyzed by surface area analyzer (by BET and BJH techniques). All