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Influence of H- and OH-adsorbates on the ethanol oxidation reaction

A DEMS study
: Delpeuch, A.B.; Chatenet, M.; Rau, M.S.; Cremers, C.


Physical chemistry, chemical physics : PCCP 17 (2015), Nr.16, S.10881-10893
ISSN: 1463-9076
Fraunhofer ICT ()

The ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) was investigated by potentiodynamic techniques on Pt/C, Rh/C, Pt-Rh/C, Pt-SnO2/C and Pt-Rh-SnO2/C by differential electrochemical mass spectrometry (DEMS) in a flow cell system. Prior to the cyclic voltammetries, adsorption of H-and OH-species was carried out by chronoamperometry at E-ad = 0.05 and 1 V vs. RHE, respectively, in order to examine their influence on the EOR on the different electrocatalysts. For the sake of comparison, another adsorption potential was chosen at E-ad = 0.3 V vs. RHE, in the double layer region (i.e. in the absence of such adsorbates). For this study, 20 wt% electrocatalysts were synthesized using a modified polyol method and were physically characterized by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When comparing the first and second cycles of the cyclic voltammograms (CVs) on Pt/C and Pt-SnO2/C, the presence of H-ad on the electrocatalyst surface seems to hinder the initiation of the ethanol electrooxidation, whereas the reaction onset potential is shifted negatively with the presence of OH-adsorbates. In contrast to them, the EOR on Rh/C is enhanced when the electrocatalyst surface is covered with H-ad and is inhibited after adsorption at E-ad = 0.3 and 1 V vs. RHE. Finally, on Pt-Rh/C and Pt-Rh-SnO2/C, neither the H- nor OH-adsorbates do impact the EOR initiation. The lowest EOR onset was recorded on Pt-SnO2/C and Pt-Rh-SnO2/C electrocatalysts. The CO2 currency efficiency (CCE) was also determined for each electrocatalyst and demonstrated higher values on Pt-Rh-SnO2/C.