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Open AccessArticle

Synthesis and Evaluation of Highly Tolerant Pd Electrocatalysts as Cathodes in Direct Ethylene Glycol Fuel Cells (DEGFC)

1
Grupo de Recursos Naturales y Energéticos, Cinvestav Unidad Saltillo, Carr. Saltillo-Monterrey Km. 13.5, Ramos Arizpe, Coahuila, C.P. 25900, Mexico
2
Laboratoire d'Électrochimie et de Matériaux Énergétiques, École Polytechnique de Montréal, C.P. 6079, succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC, H3C 3A7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2009, 2(4), 944-956; https://doi.org/10.3390/en20400944
Received: 29 July 2009 / Accepted: 11 September 2009 / Published: 27 October 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fuel Cells)
Highly selective Pd electrocatalysts were synthesized by the formic acid (FA) method and evaluated as cathodes for DEGFC applications. In rotating disc measurements in acid medium, the Pd/C cathode showed important catalytic activity for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR). In the presence of ethylene glycol (EG, C2H6O2), Pd/C exhibited a noteworthy electrochemical behavior and full tolerance to the organic molecule. No current density peaks associated to the EG oxidation reaction emerged and the shift in onset potential for the ORR (Eonset) toward more negative potentials was negligible on this cathode. As a comparison, commercial Pt/C was tested under the same conditions showing a poor selectivity for the ORR when EG was present. The detrimental effect of EG on the Pt electrocatalysts resulted in high intensity current density peaks due to the oxidation of EG and a significant shift in Eonset. The evaluation of Pd/C in a DEGFC operating at 80 °C demonstrated its good performance as cathode material. Given these results, it is expected that highly efficient Pd-based cathodes can find application in DEGFCs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pd-based cathodes; oxygen reduction reaction; tolerance to organic molecules; ethylene glycol as fuel; direct ethylene glycol fuel cells Pd-based cathodes; oxygen reduction reaction; tolerance to organic molecules; ethylene glycol as fuel; direct ethylene glycol fuel cells
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Rodríguez Varela, F.J.; Luna, S.F.; Savadogo, O. Synthesis and Evaluation of Highly Tolerant Pd Electrocatalysts as Cathodes in Direct Ethylene Glycol Fuel Cells (DEGFC). Energies 2009, 2, 944-956.

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