Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol.147, No.7, 2620-2624, 2000
Oxygen reduction on Ru1.92Mo0.08SeO4, Ru/carbon, and Pt/carbon in pure and methanol-containing electrolytes
The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity of a Ru1.92Mo0.08SeO4 catalyst, a Vulcan XC72-supDortcd Ru catalyst and, for comparison, a Vulcan XC72-supported Pt catalyst was studied with a rotating ring-disk electrode. The very similar reaction characteristics of the two Ru catalysts in pure and CH3OH-containing H2SO4 electrolyte, which differ markedly from those of the Pt catalyst, indicate that the reactive centers in both Ru catalysts must be identical. They are highly selective (>95%) toward reduction to H2O (four electron pathway), independent of the presence of methanol. In the latter case, they are 100% selective toward the ORR, i.e., completely methanol tolerant, while the ORR on Pt catalysts is accompanied by significant CH3OH oxidation. Based on mass specific current densities, however, the Ru catalysts are significantly less active than the standard Pt catalysts. Only at methanol concentrations above 10-30 mM does their methanol tolerance make them more active than Pt/Vulcan. Implications for their use as cathode catalysts in a direct methanol fuel cell are discussed.