Electrocatalyst for Alcohol Oxidation at Fuel Cell Anodes
Scanning transmission electron micrograph showing uniform dispersion of the catalyst particles (bright spots) on the carbon support (dark background). The average particle size is about 1.5 nm.
Ethanol and other alcohols are nearly ideal reactants for fuel cells. Unfortunately they are difficult to oxidize, requiring breaking of carbon-carbon bonds. This ternary catalyst consisting of platinum and rhodium on carbon-supported tin dioxide nanoparticles effectively splits the carbon-carbon bonds of alcohols at room temperature in acid solutions. Other catalysts require much higher applied voltages to split the bonds, making them impractical for use in a power source such as a fuel cell.Description
A ternary catalyst composition including platinum, rhodium, and tin dioxide can be used to oxidize alcohols to carbon dioxide in fuel cells. The catalyst may consist of clusters of a noble metal (such as platinum) and rhodium on the surface of tin dioxide nanoparticles. Another form of the catalysts is a noble metal core with clusters of rhodium and tin dioxide on its surface. The ternary catalyst may be supported by carbon and formed into an anode for a fuel cell.Benefits
The ternary electrocatalyst composite offers high catalytic activity for ethanol oxidation at lower cost than bulk platinum/carbon catalystsApplications and Industries
Fuel cell catalysts; ethanol oxidation; heterogeneous catalysis.More Information
Kowal, et al., “Ternary Pt/Rh/SnO2 electrocatalysts for oxidizing ethanol to CO2,” Nature Materials. 8, 325 (2009) http://www.nature.com/nmat/journal/v8/n4/full/nmat2359.htmlPatents and Patent Applications
|Title and Abstract||
Electrocatalyst for alcohol oxidation at fuel cell anodes
In some embodiments a ternary electrocatalyst is provided. The electrocatalyst can be used in an anode for oxidizing alcohol in a fuel cell. In some embodiments, the ternary electrocatalyst may include a noble metal particle having a surface decorated with clusters of SnO.sub.2 and Rh. The noble metal particles may include platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, gold, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the ternary electrocatalyst includes SnO.sub.2 particles having a surface decorated with clusters of a noble metal and Rh. Some ternary electrocatalysts include noble metal particles with clusters of SnO.sub.2 and Rh at their surfaces. In some embodiments the electrocatalyst particle cores are nanoparticles. Some embodiments of the invention provide a fuel cell including an anode incorporating the ternary electrocatalyst. In some aspects a method of using ternary electrocatalysts of Pt, Rh, and SnO.sub.2 to oxidize an alcohol in a fuel cell is described.
|Brookhaven National Laboratory||11/01/2011
|Technology ID||Development Stage||Availability||Published||Last Updated|