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The enhancement effect of tungsten on the kinetics of oxygen reduction at novel RuSeW electrocatalysts

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hua Cheng, Wanqing Yuan, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott


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In order to improve the performance of direct methanol fuel cells, carbon-supported RuSeW nano-electrocatalysts were prepared using an impregnation method with RuO2, SeO2 and WO2 as precursors. The novel electrocatalyst was evaluated for oxygen reduction in 0.5 M H 2SO4 media in half cells, either as a gas diffusion electrode or as an ink-type rotating disk electrode. The most striking feature was that the tungsten participation significantly enhanced the kinetics of oxygen reduction, exhibiting greater apparent rate constants (up to 35%) and lower apparent activation energy (15% less) than those at the RuSe cathode. The oxygen reduction on the RuSeW electrode was a first-order reaction with respect to oxygen with the Tafel slopes of -0.07 and -0.12 V dec-1 at high and low potential regions, respectively. The enhancement effect was corroborated in direct methanol fuel cells. The electrochemical impedance spectra obtained insitu of fuel cells displayed reduced ohmic and cathode activation resistances as a consequence of the tungsten modification. The electrocatalytic effect was related to a change in the electrocatalyst structure, which was discussed based on the SEM and XRD data. © J. New Mat. Electrochem. Systems.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cheng H, Yuan W, Scott K, Browning DJ, Lakeman JB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of New Materials for Electrochemical Systems

Year: 2008

Volume: 11

Issue: 3

Pages: 147-156

Print publication date: 01/07/2008

ISSN (print): 1480-2422

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal


Funder referenceFunder name
JIF4NESCEQEPSRC/HEFCE Joint Infrastructure Fund