Ramchandra Gawas Receives 1st Place ECS Poster Award

Ramchandra Gawas (left)

Congratulations to Ramchandra Gawas for his outstanding work in the General Student Poster Session at the 2019 ECS Annual Meeting. Ramchandra was awarded 1st Place and received a $1,500 cash award for his poster titled, "Ionic Liquid Composite Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction".

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Abstract: Ionic Liquid Composite Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Authors: Ramchandra Gawas, Yawei Li, Dr. Joshua David Snyder

Recent advancements in electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) involve changes in electrochemical composition, nanostructure and support mechanism of catalyst layers. Some of the methods described above show significant potential for improving the catalytic performance. But, degradation of the catalyst, due to dissolution, detachment, agglomeration and carbon corrosion, remains the major challenge in utilizing them in actual fuel cell applications. Apart from the catalyst, catalyst-electrolyte interface plays a major role in cathodic ORR. Therefore, modification of this interface presents an alternative method to enhance ORR performance. Here, we present our work to incorporate protic ionic liquids into the catalyst-electrolyte interface in nanostructured as well as single crystal electrocatalysts. These ionic liquid modified electrocatalysts show improved activity and stability in ORR performance because of oxygen solubility and hydrophobicity of ionic liquids. We will present our understanding of the mechanism of activity and stability enhancement due ionic liquid interlayers as well as their integration into membrane electrode assemblies (MEA).

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