Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2009, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (09): 1933-1938.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20090918

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Mechanism of Ethanol Electrooxidation on Pd Electrode

FANG Xiang, SHEN Pei-Kang   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, P. R. China
  • Received:2009-03-19 Revised:2009-06-12 Published:2009-09-03
  • Contact: SHEN Pei-Kang


The mechanism of ethanol electrooxidation on a Pd electrode was studied by cyclic voltammetry and in situ Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroelectrochemistry. We found that the catalytic activity of the Pd electrode for ethanol oxidation was affected by the pH value of the solution and the concentration of ethanol. Catalytic reactions could not proceed until the solution pH>11.0. The performance for ethanol oxidation on Pd was improved with the increase in the pH value and ethanol concentration. The in situ FTIR spectroelectrochemical measurements indicated that the reaction mechanismand products depend on the pH value of the reaction solution. The main oxidation product was acetate at pH>13.0. The C—C bond cleavage of ethanol occurred as evidenced by the formation of CO2 at pH≤13.0, however, the catalytic activity for ethanol oxidation was quite low. No CO formation was detected during the oxidation of ethanol by FTIR spectroscopy, indicating the electrooxidation was a non-poisoning process.

Key words: Fuel cell, Pd, Ethanol electrooxidation, In situ FTIR spectroelectrochemistry, Catalyst


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