Direct liquid fuel cells, such as the direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and borohydride fuel cell, may experience severe electrochemical corrosion problems due to the presence of conducting liquid fuels. This type of fuel cells has catalytic electrodes that are permeable to the liquid fuels. This permeability to liquids or solutions then opens up a possibility to the electrochemical improvement of catalytic electrodes once excessive corrosion has occurred. The in-situ electro-deposition or electroplating of the catalytic diffusion electrode is developed to first improve the performance and secondly mitigate the corrosion problem. The experimental details of such a technique are described in this paper. Direct liquid fuel cells thus treated typically have power density up to 40% higher, compared to fuel cells whose catalysts are prepared the traditional way. It is well known that power density is one of the enabling factors for portable power sources, for which the typical direct liquid fuel cells are designed. Therefore, the in-situ electroplating technique is expected to play an important role in the commercialization of fuel cell technology.

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