Kinetics of Toluene Electrohydrogenation on Pt/C Catalyst

  • Yun Bao
  • Teko W. Napporn
  • Kensaku Nagasawa
  • Shigenori MitsushimaEmail author
Original Research


The kinetics of the toluene (TL) electrohydrogenation on a carbon-supported platinum catalyst (Pt/C) have been investigated as a fundamental study of the cathode reaction in an electrolyzer with water decomposition. Since the TL electrohydrogenation on a Pt wire and Pt/C catalyst is a fast kinetic reaction with a low solubility, and slow mass transfer in an aqueous electrolyte, a potential step sequence was employed to determine its kinetic performance. Based on this method, a non-faradic current and faradic current could be identified and thereafter separated by a capacitance simulation. This experiment was performed in a TL-saturated sulfuric acid electrolyte to minimize the effect of the TL mass transfer. Based on the mass transfer–free TL electrohydrogenation experimental results, the exchange current densities of the TL electrohydrogenation on the Pt/C were 0.48, 0.49, 0.72, and 0.8 mA cm−2 at 25, 40, 50, and 60 °C, respectively. We found that the carbon support has a high impact towards the TL electrohydrogenation on the Pt-supported material. The carbon material works as a sponge by absorbing TL from the solution, and providing a large TL coverage for the Pt surface. Finally, a Tafel plot of the TL electrohydrogenation on the Pt/C catalyst was obtained and the kinetic performance was determined. The apparent active energy of the TL electrohydrogenation on the Pt/C was then calculated as 13.1 kJ mol−1.

Graphical Abstract


Electrocatalyst Energy carrier Toluene Electrohydrogenation Water electrolysis Exchange current density 


Funding Information

This study was supported by the Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation (CSTI); Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP); and “energy carrier” (funding agency: JST). The Institute of Advanced Sciences (IAS) at YNU is supported by the MEXT Program for Promoting the Reform of National Universities.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun Bao
    • 1
  • Teko W. Napporn
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kensaku Nagasawa
    • 3
  • Shigenori Mitsushima
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Green Hydrogen Research CenterYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Institut de Chimie des Milieux et des Matériaux de Poitiers, UMR 7285 CNRSUniversité de PoitiersPoitiers Cedex 9France
  3. 3.Institute of Advanced SciencesYokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan

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