Electrocatalysts for Ethanol and Methanol Oxidation Prepared by Ion Beam Assisted Deposition of Platinum and Rare Earths Metals on Carbon Fiber Paper Catalyst Carriers

Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)


Active layers of electrocatalysts were prepared by ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD) of platinum and one of rare earth metals (Ce, Gd, Dy, Yb) on the carbon based Toray Carbon Fiber Paper TGP-H-060 T (TorayCFP) and AVCarb® Carbon Fiber Paper Р50 (AVCarbCFP) catalysts carriers with the aim of electrocatalysts production for direct methanol and ethanol oxidation fuel cells (DMFC, DEFC) with polymer membrane electrolyte. Formation of layers in IBAD mode, by means of the deposition of metal and mixing of precipitating layer with the substrate by accelerated (U = 5 kV) ions of the same metal, was carried out. In this process, a neutral fraction of metal vapor and ionized plasma of vacuum pulsed electric arc discharge were used. According to scanning electron microscopy, electron probe microanalysis, X-ray fluorescence analysis and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry investigations atoms of deposited metals, carbon substrates, and oxygen as impurity enter into the composition of layers. The thickness of the prepared catalytic layers is ~30 nm; content of platinum atoms in the layers – ~2×1016 cm–2, or much less than 0.05 mgPt/cm2. Properties of the prepared electrocatalysts were investigated by cyclic voltammetry in 1M CH3OH + 0.5M H2SO4 and 1M C2H5OH + 0.5M H2SO4 solutions. It was established that the prepared electrocatalysts show activity in the processes of electrochemical oxidation of methanol and ethanol. The inclusion of the rare earth metal in the composition of formed layers enhances the activity of electrocatalysts in a multistage process of oxidation of alcohols. Moreover the activity of prepared electrocatalysts in the oxidation of more complex molecules of ethanol is higher than the activity in oxidation reaction of methanol. The advantages of proposed IBAD method are as follows: possibility of forming a cohesive catalytically active layer on a carbon substrate at low platinum consumption; one stage of deposition of each of metals a comparison against multistage traditional chemical methods of catalysts preparation.