Ethanol electrooxidation; PtRu alloy catalysts; electro catalytic activity; charge transfer resistance.
The electro-oxidation of ethanol was studied over nanosized Pt and different compositions of PtRu catalysts synthesized by the borohydride reduction method. Physicochemical characterizations of the catalyst material were made by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with EDX analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). XRD patterns showed that Ru induces a contraction of the Pt lattice. EDX provided the composition of binary catalysts while TEM images indicated uniform distribution of discrete nanoparticle of the catalysts with narrow range. The electro-catalytic activities of the materials towards ethanol oxidation were investigated through electrochemical techniques, viz. cyclic voltammetry (CV), potentiodynamic polarization, chronoamperometry (CA) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) at room temperature. The onset potential of ethanol electro-oxidation is lowered on bimetallic PtRu catalysts compared to that on Pt alone. Of the investigated catalyst compositions the one with the highest electrocatalytic activity was found to be Pt82Ru18. This enhancement towards ethanol oxidation is explained on the basis of a structural effect and modified bi-functional mechanism.