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Rechargeable organic molecules / air batteries: electrocatalysts for the selective eletrocoverstion between 2-propanol/acetonae

Grant number: 13/10742-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Fabio Henrique Barros de Lima
Grantee:Jéssica Rodrigues de Paula Albuquerque
Home Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:09/07629-6 - Electrocatalysis IV: fundamental and applied aspects of electrocatalytic processes, bio-electrocatalysis and kinetic instabilities, AP.BIOEN.TEM

Abstract

Rechargeable batteries that operate with organic molecules/air, also known as Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cells (URFC) are an important alternative to conventional batteries. Recently, it was proposed the utilization of cyclic hydrocarbons, such as cyclohexane 6-methyl cyclohexane. This class of molecules can be called "organic hydrides", because they possess high hydrogen content. However, these molecules are complex and, in general, present several possible routes for their electrooxidation and eletroctroreduction. On the other hand, the application of small or simpler organic molecules might be attractive. An important example is a battery or URFC operating with 2-propanol/acetone and O2 / H2O. In the particular case of this dispositive working with acidic electrolyte, in the discharge process, the 2-propanol molecule is electrochemically oxidized to acetone, and O2 is reduced to H2O. In the recharge process, acetone is electrochemically reduced back to 2-propanol and H2O is oxidized to O2. Therefore, the main challenge is related to the development of electrocatalysts active, stable, and highly selective for the formation of acetone and 2-propanol. In the present research project, it will be investigated the synthesis, electrocatalytic activity, and selectivity of carbon-supported electrocatalysts, composed of noble and non-noble metal, for the electrooxidation of 2-propanol and electroreduction of acetone, in acid and alkaline electrolytes. The study of the electrocatalytic activity will be carried out using electrochemical polarization curves, and the reaction selectivity will be measured by utilizing the online Differential Electrochemical Mass Spectrometry (DEMS) technique. (AU)

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