Abstract A high performance alkaline direct borohydride–hydrogen peroxide fuel cell with Pt–Ru catalyzed nickel foam as anode and Pd–Ir catalyzed nickel foam as cathode is reported. The electrodes were prepared by electrodeposition of the catalyst components on nickel foam. Their morphology and composition were analyzed by SEM–EDX. The effects of concentrations of NaBH 4 and H 2O 2 as well as operation temperature on the cell performance were investigated. The cell exhibited an open circuit voltage of about 1.0 V and a peak power density of 198 mW cm −2 at a current density of 397 mA cm −2 and a cell voltage of 0.5 V using 0.2 mol dm −3 NaBH 4 as fuel and 0.4 mol dm −3 H 2O 2 as oxidant operating at room temperature. Electrooxidation of NaBH 4 on Pt–Ru nanoparticles was studied using a rotating disk electrode and complete 8e − oxidation was observed in 2 mol dm −3 NaOH solution containing 0.01 mol dm −3 NaBH 4.