Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Vol.234, 329-336, 2018
Pt-modified TaC as an efficient electrocatalyst for ethanol oxidation in acid and alkaline electrolytes
Ethanol is an ideal fuel in low-temperature fuel cells. The ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) on platinum-modified tantalum carbide (TaC) has been investigated using both model thin films and powder catalysts. The results demonstrate that the 1.5 wt% Pt-modified TaC catalyst shows enhanced EOR activity compared to Pt. In-situ infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (IRRAS) study reveals that the Pt surface is less poisoned by EOR intermediates and a higher CO2 selectivity (7 similar to 9%) is achieved on the 1.5 wt% Pt/TaC catalyst, compared to the 40 wt% Pt/C. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal that the binding energies of EOR intermediates on the Pt/TaC(111) surface are weaker than on Pt(111), suggesting an enhanced poison-tolerance from the adsorption of these intermediates. The combined experimental and theoretical investigations indicate that Pt/ TaC is a promising electrocatalyst for EOR.