This project aims to elucidate the influence of transition metal oxides MOx (M = Ti, Zr, Mo, Ru, Sn, W, Ir and Ce) on the catalytic activity of Pt nanoparticles for the oxidation of methanol and ethanol. This is a proposal for basic research linked to the development of efficient materials for charge transfer reactions of technological importance, relevant in the area of direct alcohol fuel cells. It is proposed to conduct fundamental studies of reaction mechanisms to systematically evaluate the effects of different oxides on the catalytic and electronic properties. Aiming strict control of the properties of the metallic part, Pt nanoparticles will be synthesized in colloidal state (modified polyol method) to ensure high homogeneity of size and controlled properties, and subsequently supported on carbon-oxide nanocomposites prepared by the sol gel method. Catalysts Pt/C-MOx will be characterized by ex situ techniques (X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy). The electronic characteristics will be evaluated by in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Reactions kinetics studies will be carried out by using conventional electrochemical techniques complemented with the analysis of reaction products and intermediates by in situ infrared spectroscopy and high efficiency liquid chromatography. It is expected that carrying out this project would allow establishing correlations between properties and reaction kinetics which, in turn, may support new developments of efficient catalysts for energy generation from alcohols.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: