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Material exploration: combinatorial optimization of ternary PtSnX (X=Ni, Ru, RH and PD) alloy catalysts for ethanol electrooxidation

Grant number: 11/21770-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Adalgisa Rodrigues de Andrade
Grantee:Thiago dos Santos Almeida
Supervisor: Héctor D. Abruña
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil
Research place: Cornell University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:09/15034-2 - Preparation, characterization and application of trimetalics catalysts PtSnX (x= Ni, PD, RH e W) for direct ethanol oxidation fuel cell, BP.DD


With the growing energy demand in the modern world, it becomes necessary to develop alternative energy sources capable of combining efficiency and low environmental impact. In this context, the fuel cell technology can be applied in different electronic devices. However, some factors limit their immediate application as high cost of catalysts required for operation of the anode and cathode, intolerance to fuel contaminants or by-products of its own oxidation, and also the low stability for long periods of operation. Thus, this project aims at exploring possible electrocatalysts for fuel cell application in direct ethanol. For this purpose, ternary compositions will be prepared by combinatorial optimization and will have the same metal that has been studied during the execution of the research project approved by FAPESP in Brazil, i. e., PtSnX (X = Ni, Ru, Rh and Pd). The first step will consist in the preparation of the catalyst followed by in situ mapping by X-ray florescence to determine the active regions for electro-oxidation of ethanol. Later these regions will be analyzed by XRD, SEM and EDX for determining the structure, composition and morphology. The studies will be completed with cell test to evaluate the application of these compositions in real devices. (AU)

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