Design of Pd-Pb Catalysts for Glycerol and Ethylene Glycol Electrooxidation in Alkaline Medium


Unsupported PdxPb1-x electrocatalysts were synthesized by a modified sacrificial support method (SSM) and thoroughly characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Their electrochemical activity was evaluated for the electrooxidation reactions of ethylene glycol (EGOR) and glycerol (GOR) in alkaline electrolytes, reaching an onset of − 510 mV vs. the normal hydrogen electrode (NHE) for the EGOR and the GOR vs. − 430 mV vs. NHE for the EGOR and the GOR on the Pd-black. Additional mechanistic insights were provided by DFT calculations, showing that the presence of Pb resulted in a stronger binding of the OHads, therefore explaining the enhanced kinetics for the electrooxidation of C2 (ethylene glycol) and C3 (glycerol) alcohol in this environment.

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M.C. thanks the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF) for its support. Computational work was performed using the computational resources of EMSL (sponsored by the Department of Energy’s Office of Biological and Environmental Research and located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory), NERSC (supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy), and CNMS (sponsored at Oak Ridge National Laboratory by the Scientific User Facilities Division, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy).

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Correspondence to Tristan Asset or Plamen Atanassov.

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Asset, T., Serov, A., Padilla, M. et al. Design of Pd-Pb Catalysts for Glycerol and Ethylene Glycol Electrooxidation in Alkaline Medium. Electrocatalysis 9, 480–485 (2018).

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  • Palladium
  • Lead
  • Glycerol
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Alkaline fuel cell