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Development of catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction and alcohols electrooxidation

Grant number: 11/06554-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: June 01, 2011 - November 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Paulo Olivi
Grantee:Paulo Olivi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Fabiana Lopes da Silva Purgato ; Thiago Lopes


This research project involves the investigation of new electrocatalytic materials for two reactions occurring in Fuel Cells. One of these reactions is the Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) which will be investigated employing materials that do not contain platinum. These materials are based in transition metals deposited on conducting polymers that present nitrogen in their structure. Their structures will be characterized and the nature of the active sites for the ORR will be studied. The prepared materials will be tested on H2/O2 unitary cells aiming at to evaluate the viability of their use in practical fuel cells. The second system to be investigated in the electrooxidation of small alcohol molecules that are on interest in Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells. The catalyst materials which will be prepared in this project involves the deposition of platinum or a platinum alloy (with Ru, Sn or Rh) on the surface of particle composed by tin oxide deposited on a carbon powder surface. The objective is to obtain a catalyst with two characteristics that are interesting for the alcohols electrooxidation, i. e., the water adsorption with the formation of adsorbed OH, and the modification of the electronic structure of platinum and the subsequent weakening of the interaction between adsorbates and the catalyst surface. These two characteristics can be obtained by the tin oxide and by the formation of a platinum alloy with another metal like Ru, Sn or Rh. These systems have demonstrated in the literature to be capable to facilitate the oxidation of methanol or ethanol whem compared to pure platinum. (AU)

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