Clean synthesis of biocarbon-supported Ni@Pd core–shell particles via hydrothermal method for direct ethanol fuel cell anode application

  • E. Leal da SilvaEmail author
  • A. Cuña
  • C. Reyes Plascencia
  • C. Radtke
  • N. Tancredi
  • C. de Fraga Malfatti
Original Paper


Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) are devices for clean and sustainable energy production, where the generation of electrical energy occurs as a result of the anodic ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). One of the main challenges of these devices is the development of cost-effective and sustainable anodic catalysts, minimizing the use of noble metals such as Pd. In this sense, biomass-derived carbon-supported core–shell nanoparticles of PdNi-based electrocatalyst are of great interest for EOR and its application in DEFCs. The purpose of this work was to demonstrate the possibility of synthesizing a core–shell Ni@Pd electrocatalysts via hydrothermal method, in a fast, simple and environmental friendly way. A biomass hydrothermal liquefaction method using nickel and palladium salts was used to synthesize a biocarbon-supported nickel/palladium core–shell electrocatalyst (Ni@Pd/aHC). The electrocatalyst was morphological and chemical characterized in order to confirm the core–shell particle formation. The electrochemical characterization showed that the Ni@Pd/aHC sample has good electrocatalytic behaviour and good stability over time. The EOR mechanism on the sample and their influence in the faradaic efficiency of a cell were also studied by spectroelectrochemical analysis.

Graphic abstract


Ni@Pd core–shell Hydrothermal synthesis Biomass residues Ethanol oxidation reaction In situ ATR-FTIRS 



This work was funded by the Brazilian CNPq and CAPES foundation. E. Leal da Silva thanks the Brazilian CNPq (Bolsista CNPq/Brasil 152027/2016-5—PDJ) and the Uruguayan Comisión Académica de Posgrado (CAP)-Udelar for the Postdoctoral Fellowship (2018–2020). A. Cuña thanks the CSIC-UdelaR for financial support. C. Reyes Plascencia gratefully acknowledges the National Council of Science and Technology in Mexico (CONACYT) for her Ph.D. scholarship. The authors thank Leopoldo Suescun from Cryssmat-Lab/DETEMA for XRD measurements.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LAPEC/PPGE3MUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Area Fisicoquímica, DETEMA, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  3. 3.Instituto Polo Tecnológico de Pando, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad de la RepúblicaPandoUruguay
  4. 4.Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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