Enhanced Ethanol Oxidation Using Trimetallic Nanoalloys

Enhanced Ethanol Oxidation Using Trimetallic Nanoalloys

Author: Heiko Kuhn

Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) are promising candidates for providing clean energy owing to the numerous advantages of ethanol such as high energy density, low toxicity, and easy storage and transportation. Last but not least, ethanol can be sustainably produced from biomass. However, the practical large-scale commercialization of DEFCs is severely limited by poor reaction kinetics, low activity, and short durability of Pt-based catalysts. Improving the catalytic properties of Pt-based catalysts is one of the major challenges for application of DEFCs.

The research teams of Da-Bing Huang and Qiang Yuan, Guizhou University, Guiyang, China, and Pei-Lei He and Xun Wang, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, showed that RhPdPt island-shaped trimetallic nanoalloys have good catalytic performance for ethanol oxidation in an alkaline medium. The researchers elaborately engineered a set of parameters, such as size, shape, morphology, and composition of RhPdPt trimetallic nanoalloys, through a facile aqueous solution approach. Among the nanoalloys, Rh10Pd40Pt50 displayed the highest catalytic performance. According to the researchers, such RhPdPt nanoalloys also hold promise as three-way catalysts for the control of automobile exhaust gases.


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