Overview of the development of CO-tolerant anode electrocatalysts for proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

Jung Ho Wee, Kwan Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Poisoning of Pt anode electrocatalysts by carbon monoxide (CO) is deemed to be one of the most significant barriers to be overcome in the development of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell systems (PEMFCs). The use of CO-tolerant electrocatalysts serves as the most hopeful way to solve this problem. It is well established that Pt-based alloy systems of CO-tolerant electrocatalysts can substantially withstand the presence of CO in the fuel stream. Based on literature starting in 2000, a few efforts have still been conducted at developing a more CO-tolerant anode electrocatalyst than the traditional Pt/C or PtRu/C systems. This review introduces and discusses these efforts. Pt-based electrocatalysts, including PtSn/C, PtMo/C (atomic ratio = 5:1), PtRuMo/C (Mo = 10 wt.%), PtRu-HxMoO3/C and PtRu/(C nanotubes), appear to be poisoned by CO at the same, or a lower, level than traditional Pt/C or PtRu/C electrocatalysts. Platinum-free electrocatalysts, such as PdAu/C, have proven to be less strongly poisoned by CO than PtRu/C counterparts at temperatures of 60 °C. A greater tolerance to CO can be achieved by modifying the structure of the electrocatalyst. This involves the use of a composite or double-layer that is designed to make the CO react with one of the electrocatalyst in advance while the main hydrogen reacts at another layer with a traditional Pt/C electrocatalyst.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 19


  • Carbon monoxide tolerance
  • Hydrogen oxidation
  • Platinum catalyst
  • Proton-exchange membrane fuel cell
  • Pt-Ru anode
  • Selective carbon dioxide oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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