Synthesis and characterization of binary Palladium based electrocatalysts towards alcohol oxidation for fuel cell application
Klaas, Lutho Attwell
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The anode catalyst is one of the important parts of the direct alcohol fuel cell (DAFC); it is responsible for the alcohol oxidation reaction (AOR) takes place at the anode side. Pd has been reported to have good alcohol oxidation reactions and good stability in alkaline solution. Better stability and activity has been reported for Pd alloyed catalysts when compared to Pd. Choosing a suitable alcohol also has an effect on the activity and stability of the catalyst. This study investigates the best catalyst with better AOR and the best stability and also looks at the better alcohol to use between glycerol and ethanol for the five in-house catalysts (20% Pd, PdNi, PdNiO, PdMn3O4 and PdMn3O4NiO on multi walled carbon nanotubes) using cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), electrochemical impedance spectrometry (EIS) and chronoamperometry. HR-TEM and XRD techniques were used to determine the particle size and average particle size, respectively while EDS used to determine elemental composition and ICP was used to determine catalyst loading. It was observed from LSV that PdNiO was the most active catalyst for both ethanol and glycerol oxidation, and it was the most stable in ethanol while PdMn3O4 proved to be the most stable catalyst in glycerol observed using chronoamperometry. The best alcohol in this study was reported to be glycerol having given the highest current densities for all the inhouse catalysts compared to ethanol observed using LSV. From XRD and HR-TEM studies, particle sizes were in the range of 0.97 and 2.69 nm for XRD 3.44 and 7.20 nm for HR-TEM with a little agglomeration for PdMn3O4 and PdMn3O4NiO.