Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2013, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (01): 144-150.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201210092

• CATALYSIS AND SURFACE SCIENCE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Functionalization of Activated Carbon with EDTA and Its Effect on Electrocatalytic Performance of Carbon Supported Pd Catalysts

CAO Jian-Yu1,2, TANG Jia-Li1, SONG Ling-Zheng1, XU Juan1,2, WANG Wen-Chang1,2, Chen Zhi-Dong1,2,3   

  1. 1 School of Petrochemical Engineering, Changzhou University, Changzhou 213164, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China;
    2 Key Laboratory for Solar Cells and Energy Storage Technology of Jiangsu Province, Changzhou 213164, Jiangsu Province, P. R. China;
    3 Qualtec Co. Ltd., Osaka 590-0906, Japan
  • Received:2012-07-16 Revised:2012-10-08 Published:2012-12-14
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21003015, 21103014), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (BE201113, 2011Z0062), and Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development (PAPD) of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, China.


The effect of functionalization of activated carbon with ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) on surface functional groups, the structure of carbon-supported Pd nanoparticles, and the electrocatalytic performance of Pd catalysts were investigated. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicate that N-containing groups are introduced to the carbon surface via EDTA treatment. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) spectra, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and electrochemical measurements demonstrate that the electrocatalytic activity and stability for carbon-supported Pd catalysts were substantially enhanced when the carbon support was treated with EDTA, although the Pd particles size increased slightly. The improved electrocatalytic performance may be due to enhanced interactions between the Pd particles and the carbon support, resulting in an improved Pd utilization. Electrochemical impedance spectrum analysis further reveals that the Pd catalyst on EDTA-treated carbon (Pd/C-E) displayed a lower charge-transfer resistance for the electro-oxidation reaction of formic acid.

Key words: Carbon supported palladium catalyst, Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid, Electrocatalysis, Formic acid oxidation, Electrochemical impedance spectrum