Conducting polymer-based nanohybrids for fuel cell application

Srabanti Ghosh, Suparna Das, Marta E.G. Mosquera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Carbon materials such as carbon graphitic structures, carbon nanotubes, and graphene nanosheets are extensively used as supports for electrocatalysts in fuel cells. Alternatively, conducting polymers displayed ultrahigh electrical conductivity and high chemical stability havegenerated an intense research interest as catalysts support for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) as well as microbial fuel cells (MFCs). Moreover, metal or metal oxides catalysts can be immobilized on the pure polymer or the functionalized polymer surface to generate conducting polymer-based nanohybrids (CPNHs) with improved catalytic performance and stability. Metal oxides generally have large surface area and/or porous structures and showed unique synergistic effects with CPs. Therefore, a stable, environmentally friendly bio/electro-catalyst can be obtained with CPNHs along with better catalytic activity and enhanced electron-transfer rate. The mass activity of Pd/polypyrrole (PPy) CPNHs as an anode material for ethanol oxidation is 7.5 and 78 times higher than that of commercial Pd/C and bulk Pd/PPy. The Pd rich multimetallic alloys incorporated on PPy nanofibers exhibited an excellent electrocatalytic activity which is approximately 5.5 times higher than monometallic counter parts. Similarly, binary and ternary Pt-rich electrocatalysts demonstrated superior catalytic activity for the methanol oxidation, and the catalytic activity of Pt24Pd26Au50 /PPy significantly improved up to 12.5 A per mg Pt, which is approximately15 times higher than commercial Pt/C (0.85 A per mg Pt). The recent progress on CPNH materials as anode/cathode and membranes for fuel cell has been systematically reviewed, with detailed understandings into the characteristics, modifications, and performances of the electrode materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2993
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Anode catalysts
  • Catalysts support
  • Cathode catalysts
  • Conducting polymer
  • Electrooxidation
  • Fuel cell
  • Functionalization
  • Maximum power density
  • Nanohybrids


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