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Electrooxidation of ethylene glycol and glycerol on Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C anodes in direct alcohol fuel cells.

ChemSusChem (2013-02-14)
Andrea Marchionni, Manuela Bevilacqua, Claudio Bianchini, Yan-Xin Chen, Jonathan Filippi, Paolo Fornasiero, Alessandro Lavacchi, Hamish Miller, Lianqin Wang, Francesco Vizza
ABSTRACT

The electrooxidation of ethylene glycol (EG) and glycerol (G) has been studied: in alkaline media, in passive as well as active direct ethylene glycol fuel cells (DEGFCs), and in direct glycerol fuel cells (DGFCs) containing Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C as an anode electrocatalyst, that is, Pd nanoparticles supported on a Ni-Zn phase. For comparison, an anode electrocatalyst containing Pd nanoparticles (Pd/C) has been also investigated. The oxidation of EG and G has primarily been investigated in half cells. The results obtained have highlighted the excellent electrocatalytic activity of Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C in terms of peak current density, which is as high as 3300 A g(Pd)(-1) for EG and 2150 A g(Pd)(-1) for G. Membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA) have been fabricated using Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C anodes, proprietary Fe-Co/C cathodes, and Tokuyama A-201 anion-exchange membranes. The MEA performance has been evaluated in either passive or active cells fed with aqueous solutions of 5 wt % EG and 5 wt % G. In view of the peak-power densities obtained in the temperature range from 20 to 80 °C, at Pd loadings as low as 1 mg cm(-2) at the anode, these results show that Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C can be classified amongst the best performing electrocatalysts ever reported for EG and G oxidation.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene glycol, ReagentPlus®, ≥99%
Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene glycol, spectrophotometric grade, ≥99%
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Sigma-Aldrich
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Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene glycol, anhydrous, 99.8%
Supelco
Ethylene glycol, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
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Ethylene glycol solution, NMR reference standard, 80% in DMSO-d6 (99.9 atom % D), NMR tube size 3 mm × 8 in.
Supelco
Ethylene glycol solution, NMR reference standard, 80% in DMSO-d6 (99.9 atom % D), NMR tube size 5 mm × 8 in.
Sigma-Aldrich
Ethylene glycol 5 M solution