Treatment with atmospheric-pressure (AP) hydrogen cold plasma is an effective method for preparing highly active supported metal catalytic materials. However, this technique typically uses H2
as working gas, which is explosive and difficult to transport. This study proposes the use of PdCl2
as a Pd precursor and activated carbon as the support to fabricate Pd/C catalytic materials (Pd/C-EP-Ar) by using ethanol—which is renewable, easily stored, and safe—combined with AP cold plasma (AP ethanol cold plasma) followed by calcination in Ar gas at 550 °C for 2 h. Both Pd/C-EP and Pd/C-HP fabricated using AP ethanol and hydrogen cold plasma (without calcination in Ar gas) respectively, exhibit low CO oxidation reactivity. The activity of Pd/C-EP is lower than Pd/C-HP, which is mainly ascribed to the carbon layer formed by ethanol decomposition during plasma treatment. However, the 100% CO conversion temperature (T100
) of Pd/C-EP-Ar is 140 °C, which is similar to that of Pd/C-HP-Ar fabricated using AP hydrogen cold plasma (calcined in Ar gas at 550 °C for 2 h). The characterization results of X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy indicated that the carbon layer formed by ethanol decomposition enhanced the interaction of metal nanoparticles to the support, and a high Pd/C atomic ratio was obtained. This was beneficial to the high CO oxidation performance. This work provides a safe method for synthesizing high-performance Pd/C catalytic materials avoiding the use of H2
, which is explosive and difficult to transport.
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