Processing of Raney-nickel catalysts for alkaline fuel cell applications

J. A. Linnekoski, A. O. I. Krause, Jari Keskinen, J. Lamminen, T. Anttila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Platinum and other platinum group metals, either as singles or in combinations, have been preferred for use in low temperature fuel cells, mainly alkaline fuel cells (AFCs), polymer membrane electrolyte fuel cells (PEMs), and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), for hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR). However also the Raney-nickel catalyst, which is among the most active non-noble metals for the HOR, has been the target of interest, especially in AFCs. However electrodes with nonsupport Raney-nickel catalysts have been reported to suffer from insufficient conductivity. So, in this work, in order to enhance the electrical conductivity in the catalyst layer and to increase the catalytic activity, the Raney-nickel catalysts were alloyed with carbon in a planetary-type ball mill. In some samples platinum was added chemically to still enhance the catalytic properties. The activity of the processed materials was tested in the anode reaction of the alkaline fuel cell by measuring the half-cell polarization curves. It was found that the effective mixing of Raney-nickel powder and carbon in the ball mill was beneficial compared with poorer mixing in the knife mill. However in order to achieve the same current densities at the same polarization level as the commercial Pt catalyst (2 mg/cm(2)), much higher Raney-nickel contents (73 mg/cm(2)) were needed. Good contact between Raney-nickel and conductive material (carbon) in the catalyst layer of the alkaline fuel cell electrode can improve the performance of the Raney-nickel catalyst in the hydrogen oxidation reaction. The polarization was lowered especially at the higher current densities (>250 mA/cm(2)).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event1st Conference on European Fuel Cell Technology and Applications (EFC2005) - Rome, Italy
Duration: 14 Dec 200516 Dec 2005


  • Raney-nickel
  • alkaline fuel cell
  • hydrogen oxidation
  • ball mill
  • platinum catalyst
  • CO


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