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Carbon Monoxide Tolerant Electrocatalyst with Low Platinum Loading and a Process for its Preparation

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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	Schematic illustration of platinum clusters on a ruthenium nanoparticle.</p>

Schematic illustration of platinum clusters on a ruthenium nanoparticle.

Technology Marketing Summary

Platinum is an excellent catalyst for many reactions. However, it is also easily poisoned by carbon monoxide and very expensive. Tolerance to carbon monoxide can be increased by using a particle composite consisting of clusters or an atomically thin layer of the platinum on a ruthenium particle. When used as an electrocatalyst for the oxidation of fuel at a fuel cell anode, this structure exhibits low platinum loading and elevated tolerance to carbon monoxide when compared to commercially available platinum/carbon electrocatalysts. These structures can be used in fuel cells and other electrocatalytic or heterogeneous catalytic applications.


Ruthenium nanoparticles are deposited on a conductive support and exposed to hydrogen at elevated temperature. The hydrogen-exposed nanoparticles are then cooled and placed in contact with a solution of Group VIII noble metal compound(s), such as platinum. The noble metal is deposited on the surface of the nanoparticles as clusters or an atomically thin layer, forming an active electrocatalyst.


The platinum/ruthenium particle composite offers high catalytic activity and good carbon monoxide tolerance at lower cost than bulk platinum/carbon catalysts.

Applications and Industries

Fuel cell catalysts; replacement for platinum/carbon catalysts and electrocatalysts; heterogeneous catalysis.

More Information

Brankovic, et al., “Pt Submonolayers on Ru Nanoparticles: A Novel Low Pt Loading, High CO Tolerance Fuel Cell Electrocatalyst,” Electrochemical and Solid State Letters, 4, A217-A220 (2001)

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 6,670,301
Carbon monoxide tolerant electrocatalyst with low platinum loading and a process for its preparation
An electrocatalyst is provided for use in a fuel cell that has low platinum loading and a high tolerance to carbon monoxide poisoning. The fuel cell anode includes an electrocatalyst that has a conductive support material, ruthenium nanoparticles reduced in H.sub.2 and a Group VIII noble metal in an amount of between about 0.1 and 25 wt % of the ruthenium nanoparticles, preferably between about 0.5 and 15 wt %. The preferred Group VIII noble metal is platinum. In one embodiment, the anode can also have a perfluorinated polymer membrane on its surface.
Brookhaven National Laboratory 12/30/2003
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 01-07PrototypeAvailable04/01/201104/01/2011

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To: Poornima Upadhya<>