Ru-Sn oxide/C supported Pt anode catalysts for direct ethanol fuel cells

Chen, Binyu (2018) Ru-Sn oxide/C supported Pt anode catalysts for direct ethanol fuel cells. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Direct alcohol fuel cells are promising power sources. Ethanol has recently attracted much attention since it is renewable, relatively safe and has a high energy density. In order to make best use of ethanol in fuel cells, many Pt-based catalysts have been studied. However, the low electrochemical activity of ethanol at the low potentials required for fuel cells has limited the development of direct ethanol fuel cells. This thesis describes the use of carbon black modified with Ru-Sn mixed oxides as supports for Pt nanoparticles. Since the Pt nanoparticles are on the surface of the Ru-Sn oxide, the promoting effect of Ru-Sn oxide is achieved, while the blockage of Pt active sites is minimized. Therefore, the high carbon dioxide selectivity of Pt can be retained and the performance at low potentials can be improved. The effects of reaction conditions, including Ru:Sn:C ratios, Pt loading, and heat treatment, have been investigated. Cyclic voltammetry allows rapid determination of the electrochemical performance of catalysts for preliminary screening. Product distribution results from an ethanol electrolysis cell provide the faradaic efficiency and mechanistic information. The best Pt-RuSnO₂/C catalyst showed better catalytic activity towards ethanol oxidation at low potentials than that of commercial Pt/C catalyst and retained relatively high faradaic efficiency.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13542
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 80-87).
Keywords: anode catalyst, direct ethanol fuel cell, Ru-Sn oxide
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Chemistry
Date: August 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Proton exchange membrane fuel cells; Ethanol as fuel; Oxides--Electric properties

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