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Electrochemical Investigation of Platinum Nanoparticles Supported on Carbon Nanotubes as Cathode Electrocatalysts for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

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The investigation of supported platinum electrocatalyst was conducted within the framework of global interest in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), national strategies in beneficiation of platinum (Pt) and understanding the electrochemical properties of supported Pt nanoparticles as electrocatalysts. Two sets of Multi-walled carbon nanotubes, liquid petroleum gas and ethylene synthesized Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (LPGMWCNT and EMWCNT) with an outside diameter range of 16–75 and 21–85 nm respectively, were synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Platinum (Pt) was deposited on the synthesized nanotubes and compared with Pt on commercial MWCNT and a commercial Pt/C in order to compare the physico chemical and electrochemical activity of the catalysts using different supports. Particle sizes of 2.8, 2.5, 2.75, and 2.7 nm for Pt/EMWCNT, Pt/LPGCNT and Pt/commercial CNT and Pt/C respectively, were obtained from the TEM data which were in agreement with XRD. The activity of the electrocatalysts were measured by Cyclic Voltammetry (CV), Pt/LPGMWCNT showed a large hydrogen adsorption-desorption and oxygen reduction currents. The order of Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) was Pt/LPGMWCNT > Pt/Commercial CNT > Pt/C > Pt/EMWCNT. As a preliminary probe of the various catalysts in a gas diffusion electrode, the surface activity of the catalysts dispersed on a gas diffusion layer was analyzed using scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). The result from the SECM showed the Pt/C catalysts to be the most active, and was attributed to the dispersal method. From the obtained results it was concluded that Pt/LPGMWCNT was the best catalyst for ORR compared to other electrocatalysts followed by Pt/commercial CNT. It is concluded that carbon nanotubes are good support material for Pt electrocatalysts for DMFC cathode electrode.
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Keywords: CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION; DIRECT METHANOL FUEL CELL; MULTI-WALLED CARBON NANOTUBES; OXYGEN REDUCTION REACTION; PLATINUM NANOPARTICLES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • Advanced Chemistry Letters is an international multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal covering all fundamental and applied research areas of chemical sciences including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, analytical chemistry, organometallic chemistry, nuclear chemistry, electrochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, environmental chemistry, materials chemistry, materials science, supramolecular chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, physical organic chemistry, surface chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemical biology, food chemistry, natural product chemistry, neurochemistry, pharmacology, photochemistry, photobiology, toxicology, nanoscience, nanotechnology, agrochemistry, green chemistry, marine chemistry, geochemistry, petrochemistry, radiochemistry, astrochemistry, molecular physics, chemical engineering, quantum chemistry, and theoretical and computational chemistry.
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