Corresponding Author

Qing-feng YI(yqfyy2001@hnust.edu.cn)


Development of palladium (Pd) catalysts with high electroactivity for alcohol oxidation is significant for alcohol fuel cells. In this work, Pd nanoparticles were formed by sodium borohydride (NaBH4) reduction method and subsequently deposited on the surface of carbon supported ferriferrous oxide (Fe3O4/C) composites to obtain the Pd/Fe3O4-C catalysts with different Fe3O4 loadings. Their transmission electron microscopic (TEM) images show that the Pd nanoparticles were uniformly dispersed on the Fe3O4/C. Electroactivities of the prepared Pd/Fe3O4-C catalysts toward oxidations of C1-C3 alcohols (methanol, ethanol, n-propanol and iso-propanol) in alkaline media were investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV), chronoamperometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Among the prepared catalysts (Pd/Fe3O4(2%)-C, Pd/Fe3O4(5%)-C, Pd/Fe3O4(10%)-C and Pd/C), the Pd/Fe3O4(5%)-C catalyst presented the highest electro-oxidation current density for oxidations of C1-C3 alcohols. According to the CV data, the anodic peak current densities for oxidations of methanol, ethanol, n-propanol and iso-propanol on the Pd/Fe3O4(5%)-C catalyst were over 1.7, 1.4, 1.7 and 1.3 times larger than that on the Pd/C catalyst, respectively. Furthermore, the charge transfer resistance of ethanol oxidation on the Pd/Fe3O4(5%)-C catalyst was much lower than that on the Pd/C catalyst. For all of the prepared catalysts, the decreases in electro-oxidation current density of the tested C1-C3 alcohols followed the order of n-propanol >ethanol > methanol >iso-propanol. In addition, the presence of Fe3O4 nanoparticles in the carbon powder improved the electrochemical stability of the Pd nanoparticles.

Graphical Abstract


Pd catalyst, Fe3O4, Alcohol oxidation, Electrocatalyst

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