Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 1187–1198 | Cite as

Electrooxidation of acetaldehyde on carbon-supported Pt, PtRu and Pt3Sn and unsupported PtRu0.2 catalysts: A quantitative DEMS study

  • H. Wang
  • Z. Jusys
  • R.J. BehmEmail author


The oxidation of acetaldehyde on carbon supported Pt/Vulcan, PtRu/Vulcan and Pt3Sn/Vulcan nanoparticle catalysts and, for comparison, on polycrystalline Pt and on an unsupported PtRu0.2 catalyst, was investigated under continuous reaction and continuous electrolyte flow conditions, employing electrochemical and quantitative differential electrochemical mass spectroscopy (DEMS) measurements. Product distribution and the effects of reaction potential and reactant concentration were investigated by potentiodynamic and potentiostatic measurements. Reaction transients, following both the Faradaic current as well as the CO2 related mass spectrometric intensity, revealed a very small current efficiency for CO2 formation of a few percent for 0.1 m acetaldehyde bulk oxidation under steady-state conditions on all three catalysts, the dominant oxidation product being acetic acid. Pt alloy catalysts showed a higher activity than Pt/Vulcan at lower potential (0.51 V), but do not lead to a better selectivity for complete oxidation to CO2. C–C bond breaking is rate limiting for complete oxidation at potentials with significant oxidation rates for all three catalysts. The data agree with a parallel pathway reaction mechanism, with formation and subsequent oxidation of COad and CH x, ad species in the one pathway and partial oxidation to acetic acid in the other pathway, with the latter pathway being, by far, dominant under present reaction conditions.


acetaldehyde oxidation CO2 current efficiency DEMS selectivity supported catalyst 


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We acknowledge financial support by the Landesstiftung Baden-Württemberg (programme ‚Mini Fuel Cells’) and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (project Be 1201/12–1). We are grateful to E-Tek, Inc. for the donation of the carbon supported Pt/Vulcan, PtRu/Vulcan and Pt3Sn/Vulcan catalyst samples and to the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) for the unsupported PtRu0.2 catalyst.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department Surface Chemistry and CatalysisUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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