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Development of catalysts for electrocatalytic Pt-Sn-Ni/C oxidation of glycerol for use in passive fuel cell

Grant number: 10/17764-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2011
Effective date (End): August 31, 2011
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Adalgisa Rodrigues de Andrade
Grantee:Emerson Wilson Aparecido Alves
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Among the numerous configurations of fuel cells, the cells that directly use fuels such as alcohols (DAFC) are emerging as a highly promising technology. There are various types of alcohol that can be used as fuel, among them, glycerol which can be catalytically converted into energy through oxidation of its three functions alcohol (OH) might gain important in near future. Thus, besides being achieved at low cost and large scale, its oxidation proceeds through an efficient and high catalytic activity. This three-alcohol also has a high energy density (6.260kWh L-1) compared to other alcohols such as ethanol (5442 kWh L-1) and methanol (4,047 kWh L-1). Another advantage of using glycerol is its moderate toxicity, not flammable and also it is not volatile, all these makes an energetically a very attractive fuel.Thus, the use of glycerol as a fuel in DAFC, is a promising application and profitable, as that combines the use of a surplus by-product from biodiesel production with a high energetic and clean technology. Metallic nanoparticles will be prepared electrodes containing Pt as base material and adding amounts of Sn and Ni, in varying proportions. These particles will be supported on carbon (Vulcan XC 72). To evaluate the methodology of nanoparticules preparation they will characterized by different physico-chemical techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray diffraction and X-ray. The electrochemical characterization by means of cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry will be used to determine the catalytic activity for glycerol oxidation. And finally controlled potential electrolysis and analysis of products formed by HPLC and GC will be performed, this parameter is of fundamental importance for the complete understanding of the mechanism and efficiency of the reaction.