Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1399-1416; doi:10.3390/catal5031399 (registering DOI) - published 30 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Platinum (Pt) nanoparticles are deposited on a hybrid support (C-MnO2) according to a polyol method. The home-made catalyst, resulted as Pt/C-MnxO1+x, is compared with two different commercial platinum based materials (Pt/C and PtRu/C). The synthesized catalyst is characterized by means of FESEM, XRD, ICP-MS, XPS and μRS analyses. MnO2 is synthesized and deposited over a commercial grade of carbon (Vulcan XC72) by facile reduction of potassium permanganate in acidic solution. Pt nanoparticles are synthesized on the hybrid support by a polyol thermal assisted method (microwave irradiation), followed by an annealing at 600 °C. The obtained catalyst displays a support constituted by a mixture of manganese oxides (Mn2O3 and Mn3O4) with a Pt loading of 19 wt. %. The electro-catalytic activity towards MOR is assessed by RDE in acid conditions (0.5 M H2SO4), evaluating the ability to oxidize methanol in 1 M concentration. The synthesized Pt/C-MnxO1+x catalyst shows good activity as well as good stability compared to the commercial Pt/C based catalyst.
Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1388-1398; doi:10.3390/catal5031388 - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The newly proposed mimetic underpotential deposition (MUPD) technique was extended to modify Pd surfaces with Sb through immersing a Pd film electrode or dispersing Pd/C powder in a Sb(III)-containing solution blended with ascorbic acid (AA). The introduction of AA shifts down the open circuit potential of Pd substrate available to achieve suitable Sb modification. The electrocatalytic activity and long-term stability towards HCOOH electrooxidation of the Sb modified Pd surfaces (film electrode or powder catalyst) by MUPD is superior than that of unmodified Pd and Sb modified Pd surfaces by conventional UPD method. The enhancement of electrocatalytic performance is due to the third body effect and electronic effect, as well as bi-functional mechanism induced by Sb modification which result in increased resistance against CO poisoning.
Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1375-1387; doi:10.3390/catal5031375 - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Pd core nanoparticles less than 5 nm in mean size were prepared on carbon black (CB) without any stabilizer by using palladium acetate as a precursor and CO as a reducing agent, and then used for preparing Pd core/Pt shell nanoparticles-loaded CB (Pt/Pd/CB). The mean size of Pd nanoparticles could be controlled by the concentration of palladium acetate and the CO bubbling time. The cyclic voltammograms of two Pd nanoparticles-loaded CB (Pd4.2/CB, Pd3.3/CB) electrodes whose mean size was 4.2 and 3.3 nm, respectively, had characteristics similar to a Pt electrode after the formation of a Pt monolayer shell, suggesting that the Pd core nanoparticles were almost covered with the Pt monolayer shell. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on both Pt/Pd/CB proceeded in 4-electron reduction mechanism. Both Pt/Pd/CB electrodes was ca. 1.5 times higher in ORR activity per electrochemical surface area of Pt (specific activity, SA) than the commercial Pt nanoparticles-loaded CB (Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo, Pt/CB-TKK) electrode, and the Pt/Pd3.3/CB electrode had higher SA than the Pt/Pd4.2/CB electrode. The ORR activity per unit mass of Pt for both Pt/Pd/CB electrodes was 5.0 and 5.5 times as high as that for the Pt/CB-TKK electrode, respectively. The durability of both Pt/Pd/CB electrodes was comparable to that of Pt/CB-TKK.
Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1352-1374; doi:10.3390/catal5031352 - published 24 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A novel, solvent-deficient precipitation (SDP) method for catalyst preparation in general and for preparation of iron FT catalysts in particular is reported. Eight catalysts using a 23 factorial design of experiments to identify the key preparation variables were prepared. The catalysts were characterized by electron microprobe, N2 adsorption, TEM, XRD, and ICP. Results show that the morphology of the catalysts, i.e., surface area, pore volume, pore size distribution, crystallite sizes, and promoter distribution are significantly influenced by (1) whether or not the precursor catalyst is washed, (2) the promoter addition step, and (3) the drying condition (temperature). Consequently, the activity, selectivity, and stability of the catalysts determined from fixed-bed testing are also affected by these three variables. Unwashed catalysts prepared by a one-step method and dried at 100 °C produced the most active catalysts for FT synthesis. The catalysts of this study prepared by SDP compared favorably in activity, productivity, and stability with Fe FT catalysts reported in the literature. It is believed that this facile SDP approach has promise for development of future FT catalysts, and also offers a potential alternate route for the preparation of other catalysts for various other applications.
Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1333-1351; doi:10.3390/catal5031333 - published 24 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of ZIF-8 crystal size on the morphology and performance of Fe–N–C catalysts synthesized via the pyrolysis of a ferrous salt, phenanthroline and the metal-organic framework ZIF-8 is investigated in detail. Various ZIF-8 samples with average crystal size ranging from 100 to 1600 nm were prepared. The process parameters allowing a templating effect after argon pyrolysis were investigated. It is shown that the milling speed, used to prepare catalyst precursors, and the heating mode, used for pyrolysis, are critical factors for templating nano-ZIFs into nano-sized Fe–N–C particles with open porosity. Templating could be achieved when combining a reduced milling speed with a ramped heating mode. For templated Fe–N–C materials, the performance and activity improved with decreased ZIF-8 crystal size. With the Fe–N–C catalyst templated from the smallest ZIF-8 crystals, the current densities in H2/O2 polymer electrolyte fuel cell at 0.5 V reached ca. 900 mA cm−2, compared to only ca. 450 mA cm−2 with our previous approach. This templating process opens the path to a morphological control of Fe–N–C catalysts derived from metal-organic frameworks which, when combined with the versatility of the coordination chemistry of such materials, offers a platform for the rational design of optimized Metal–N–C catalysts.
Catalysts2015, 5(3), 1321-1332; doi:10.3390/catal5031321 - published 22 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The inadequate activity and stability of Pt as a cathode catalyst under the severe operation conditions are the critical problems facing the application of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Here we report on a novel route to synthesize highly active and stable oxygen reduction catalysts by depositing Pt monolayer on a nitrided alloy core. The prepared PtMLPdNiN/C catalyst retains 89% of the initial electrochemical surface area after 50,000 cycles between potentials 0.6 and 1.0 V. By correlating electron energy-loss spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy analyses with electrochemical measurements, we found that the significant improvement of stability of the PtMLPdNiN/C catalyst is caused by nitrogen doping while reducing the total precious metal loading.