Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2021, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (9): 2009035.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB202009035

Special Issue: Fuel Cells

• REVIEW • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Synthesis and Application of Platinum-Based Hollow Nanoframes for Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells

Lei Huang, Shahid Zaman, Zhitong Wang, Huiting Niu, Bo You, Bao Yu Xia()   

  • Received:2020-09-09 Accepted:2020-10-12 Published:2020-10-23
  • Contact: Bao Yu Xia
  • About author:Bao Yu Xia, Email:
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(22075092);the Program for HUST Academic Frontier Youth Team(2018QYTD15);the National 1000 Young Talents Program of China


Although platinum (Pt)-based catalysts are suffering from high costs and limited reserves, they are still irreplaceable in a short period of time in terms of catalytic performance. Structural optimization, composition regulation and carrier modification are the common strategies to improve the activity and stability of Pt-based catalyst. Strikingly, the morphological evolution of Pt-based electrocatalyst into nanoframes (NFs) have attracted wide attention to reduce the Pt consumption and improve the electrocatalytic activity simultaneously. Contrary to Pt-based solid nanocrystalline materials, Pt-based NFs have many advantages in higher atomic utilization, open space structure and larger specific surface area, which facilitate electron transfer, mass transport and weaken surface adsorption by more unsaturated coordination sites. Here we introduce the detailed preparation strategies of Pt-based NFs with different etching methods (oxidative etching, chemical etching, galvanic replacement and carbon monoxide etching), crystal structure evolution and formation mechanism, efficient applications for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) and ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) in direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs). Based on the high-efficiency atom utilization, open space structure and diverse alloy composition, Pt-based NFs exhibit superior activity, stability and anti-poisoning than commercial counterparts in the application of DAFCs. The current challenges and future development of Pt-based NFs are prospected on the type of NFs materials, synthesis and etching methods, crystal control and catalytic performance. We propose a series of improvement mechanisms of Pt-based NFs, such as small size effect, high-energy facets, Pt-skin construction and Pt-C integration, thereby weakening the molecule absorption, increasing the Pt utilization, strengthening the intrinsic stability, and alleviating the metal dissolution and support corrosion. Additionally, the scale-up synthesis of catalytic materials, membrane electrodes assembly, and development of the start-stop system and the circulation system design are essential for the commercial application of Pt-based NFs and industrial manufacturing of DAFCs. More importantly, the reaction mechanism, active site distribution and dynamic changes in the catalytic material during the catalytic reaction are crucial to further explain the maintenance and evolution of catalytic performance, which will open a window to elucidate the improvement mechanism of the catalyst in the fuel cell reactions. This review work would promote continuous upgradations and understandings on Pt-based NFs in the future development of DAFCs.

Key words: Fuel cell, Electrocatalyst, Platinum alloy, Nanoframe, Etching