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Development of Pt-Sn, Pt-Sn-Ni catalyst for electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol in direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC)

Abstract

Ethanol, a renewable fuel with a wide distribution network in the country, has become a potentially interesting candidate for use in fuel cells which use it directly without the need of reformation. For the most advantageous generation of energy, what is interesting in this oxidation is the complete transformation of ethanol into carbon dioxide. In this process, 12 electrons are transferred. However, the break in the ethanol C-C bond occurs on a very smallscale in the majority of the catalysts known so far. The formation of CO2 is seriously hindered due to the competition between the formation of the less oxidized products, namely, acetaldehyde and acetic acid. This is a serious limitation in the use of ethanol as a fuel in devices without reformation. The use of ethanol depends on the understanding of the various stages of oxidation and of the limitations in functionofthe experimental variables and surface of the electrocatalysts. Several fundamental studies broach the subject of ethanol oxidation. Despite great advances in the understanding of the oxidation reaction the efficient breaking of the C-C bond is still a challenge. In our laboratory we have studied the oxidation of small organic molecules, aiming to understand some aspects of this oxidation in oxides of precious metals. Recently, with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology the Brazilian Fuel Cell System Program was set up, which seeks to broaden out and collect and share information and knowledge among the various research laboratories on fuel cell systems. Ultimately, the transfer of this information to the productive sector aims to make Brazil self-sufficient in this technology. In this context, the present project aims to acquire the raw materials and equipment in order to prepare the laboratory for the research developed in the Chemistry Department in Ribeirão Preto’s School of Philosophy, Sciences and Arts, which deals with research into multi-metal catalysts for the electrocatalytic oxidation of ethanol for use in direct fuel cell 3 (DEFC). (AU)

Filed patent(s) as a result of this research project

BIOANODO PARA BIOCÉLULAS A COMBUSTÍVEL ETANOL/ 02 E PROCESSO PARA PREPARAR O MESMO PI1101233-1 - Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) ; Universidade de São Paulo (USP) . Adalgisa Rodrigues de Andrade; Valtencir Zucolotto; Pietro Ciancaglini; Juliane Cristina Forti; Sidney de Aquino Neto - March 2011, 23