This work discusses the fabrication and characterization of Pt-Co electrocatalysts for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) and electrocatalysis of the oxygen reduction reaction. Two sets of carbon supported catalysts with Pt:Co in the atomic ratio of 0.25:0.75 and 0.75:0.25 were prepared using a high-energy ball-milling technique. One of the Pt-Co electrocatalysts was subjected to lixiviation to examine the change in surface area. Microstructural characterization of the electrocatalysts was done using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, x-ray diffractometry, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Electrochemical characterization of the electrocatalysts was done in acidic and alkaline media using cyclic voltammetry and potentiodynamic polarization techniques. These tests were performed at room and higher temperature (50°C). Performances of the electrocatalysts were also compared with the commercial E-TEK Pt:Co alloy electrocatalysts of the compositions 10% Pt-Co alloy (1:1 a/o) and 40% Pt-Co alloy (1:1 a/o) on Vulcan XC-72.

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