The objective of this research project involves the preparation, characterization and application of noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) in the glycerol electro-oxidation with the aim to apply in fuel cells. This topic inserts in the National Program for Production and Use of Biodiesel (PNPB) and the obligation to add biodiesel in the diesel derived from oil, Law 11097/2005. The increment of glycerol, a co-product of the biodiesel synthesis, in the brazilian market tends to bring serious problems in the logistic of it production and to the environment. In this context, the glycerol electro-oxidation reaction, a part to be an excellent perspective of a clean energy source, becomes an available alternative to solve the glycerol excess inherent to its large production. Thus, the present proposal aims synthesize metallic Au, Ag, Pd and its combined bimetallic NPs as catalysts for the glycerol electro-oxidation reaction in alkaline medium. The synthesis will be realized by dissolution of a known quantity of metallic salts with polyvinylpirrolidone in high pure water and this solution will be add to glycerol + NaOH solution in order to obtain the colloidal suspension of nanoparticles. The NPs will be characterized by different techniques, as: zeta potential, in order to verify the stability and the NPs size distribution; UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, to follows the synthesis process; transmission electron microscopy (TEM), for particle size distribution and homogeneity; dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), for a semi-quantitative analysis of NPs composition; X-ray diffraction (DRX), to determine the alloy grade, phase segregation and crystallite size; thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), to determine the metallic load, etc. The efficiency of NPs in the glycerol electro-oxidation reaction will be evaluated by cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry. FTIR spectroscopy will be used to determine the reaction intermediates and products formed during the course of the oxidation reaction. C13 RMN, will be employed for the evaluation of the interaction between glycerol and NPs. Finally, the NPs that show the best performances will be selected to be evaluated in unitary direct glycerol fuel cell.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: