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Palladium nanocrystals supported on helical carbon nanofibers for highly efficient electro-oxidation of formic acid, methanol and ethanol in alkaline electrolytes
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Power Sources, ISSN 0378-7753, Vol. 209, 236-242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We present the synthesis of palladium nanocrystals self-assembled on helical carbon nanofibers functionalized with benzyl mercaptan (Pd-S-HCNFs) and their electrocatalytic activity toward the oxidation of formic acid, methanol and ethanol. Helical carbon nanofibers (HCNFs) were first functionalized with benzyl mercaptan based on the pi-pi interactions between phenyl rings and the graphitic surface of HCNFs. Palladium nano crystals (PdNC) were fixed on the surface of functionalized HCNF by Pd-S bonds in a simple self-assembly method. The as-prepared materials were characterized by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), cyclic voltammetry (CV), and fuel cell tests. CV characterization of the as-prepared materials shows a very high electrocatalytic activity for oxidation of formic acid, ethanol and methanol in strong alkaline electrolyte. In comparison to commercial catalyst Vulcan XC-72 decorated with Pd nanoparticles, the proposed Pd-S-HCNFs nano composite material shows oxidation currents for formic acid, ethanol and methanol at the Pd-S-HCNF-modified electrode that are higher than that at the Pd/XC-72 modified electrode with a factor of 2.0, 1.5, and 2.3, respectively. In a formic acid fuel cell the Pd-S-HCNF modified electrode yields equal power density as commercial Pd/XC-72 catalyst. Our results show that Pd-decorated helical carbon nanofibers with diameters around 40-60 nm have very high potential as active material in fuel cells, electrocatalysts and sensors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 209, 236-242 p.
Keyword [en]
Helical carbon fibers, Electrocatalysts, Palladium, Nanoparticles, Electron microscopy, Fuel cells
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80025DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2012.02.080ISI: 000303698800031OAI: diva2:552029


Available from: 2012-09-12 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2012-09-12Bibliographically approved

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Tai, Cheuk-Wai
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Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK)
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