Dependence of PEM fuel cell performance on catalyst loading

H. A. Gasteiger, J. E. Panels, S. G. Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

611 Scopus citations


This study focuses on a determination of the cell voltage losses observed for Pt and PtRu loading reductions in H2/air and reformate/air polymer/electrolyte-membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Experiments with catalyst-coated membranes (CCM) of varying anode and cathode catalyst loadings with H2/O2 and H2/air demonstrate that the anode catalyst loading in state-of-the-art membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) operating on pure H2 can be reduced to 0.05 mgPt/cm 2 without significant voltage losses, while the cell voltage losses upon a reduction of the cathode catalyst loading from 0.40 to 0.20 mg Pt/cm2 for optimized MEAs amounts to 10-20mV, consistent with purely kinetic losses due to the oxygen reduction reaction. It is shown that H2/air operation with state-of-the-art MEAs very closely approaches the Pt-specific power density (in units of gPt/kW) for large-scale automotive fuel cell applications with pure H2 feed. For reformate/air operation, PtRu anode loadings can be reduced to 0.20 mg PtRu/cm2 for reformate containing 100 ppm CO with a 2% air-bleed. Any further reduction will, however, require either a change in operating conditions (i.e. lower CO concentration or cell temperature ≫80°C) or novel, more CO-tolerant anode catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-171
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventEight Ulmer Electrochemische Tage - Neu-Ulm, Germany
Duration: 20 Jun 200221 Jun 2002


  • CO-tolerance
  • Oxygen reduction reaction activity
  • Platinum loading
  • Platinum-ruthenium
  • Polymerelectrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell


Dive into the research topics of 'Dependence of PEM fuel cell performance on catalyst loading'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this