Influence of nickel on the electrochemical activity of PtRu/multiwalled carbon nanotubes electrocatalysts for direct methanol fuel cells

A. M. Valenzuela-Muñiz, G. Alonso-Nuñez, G. G. Botte, M. Miki-Yoshida, Y. Verde-Gómez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents the effect of Ni in PtRu electrocatalysts over multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) utilized for the electro-oxidation of methanol with the purpose of increasing reaction activity and tolerance to carbon monoxide. Two kinds of MWCNT were prepared using the same technique but different catalytic agents, ferrocene, and nickelocene. MWCNT obtained from ferrocene were treated after the synthesis to eliminate amorphous carbon and Fe excess, while MWCNT from nickelocene were used as synthesized to leave the nickel nanoparticles formed during the synthesis. PtRu particles were deposited over the surface of both types of MWCNT in order to study the effect of the Ni presence. The structure of the electrocatalysts was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Chemical elemental microanalysis was carried out by X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The synthesized MWCNT had an average diameter in the order of 60 nm and an average length of about 30 microns. Metallic nanoparticles deposited had a particle size in the order of 10 nm each. The electrochemical surface area (ESA) was measured using CO stripping curves and the activity toward the methanol oxidation reaction was evaluated. The ESA was improved with the presence of Ni, achieving an activity and onset potential similar to a commercial electrocatalyst (20 wt% PtRu/C, ETEK) with a lower PtRu loading (10 wt% PtRu).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-700
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Electrochemistry
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Methanol electro-oxidation
  • Methanol fuel cells
  • PtRuNi nanoparticles

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