In this work the effect of the MEA preparation techniques on the performance of DMFC was evaluated using three different methods of electrocatalyst deposition: i) catalyst coated membrane; ii) catalyst coated carbon paper; and iii) decal deposition. Optimization of the nafion content (5–15 wt. %) at anode and cathode sides of the MEA and the pressure (150–500 atm) were also performed. Activities of both supported and unsupported Pt and PtRu catalysts (Johnson Matthew) were compared in room temperature DMFC (RT-DMFC) using polarization curves. All MEAs prepared were also characterized by electrochemical (cyclic voltammetry, impedance spectroscopy) methods. It was shown that optimal nafion content is 5–10 wt. % at both anode and cathode sides, while the optimal pressure is in the 300–500 atm. range. The unsupported catalysts showed slightly higher power density at RT-DMFC (∼ 14 mW/cm2) as compared to the supported ones (∼10 mW/cm2) at the same Pt load. Variation of the wetness of MEAs upon mounting in DMFC allowed us to increase of the power density of RT-DMFC up to 32 mW/cm2.

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