Pt20RuxSny nanoparticles dispersed on mesoporous carbon CMK-3 and their application in the oxidation of 2-carbon alcohols and fermentation effluent

An Ya Lo, Yi Chen Chung, Wei Hsuan Hung, Yun Chi Hsu, Chuan Ming Tseng, Wei Lun Zhang, Fu Kai Wang, Chiu Yue Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We report the synthesis of Pt-Sn binary and Pt-Ru-Sn ternary alloy nanoparticles (NPs) dispersed on mesoporous carbon CMK-3 for bioalcohol fuel cell applications where ethanol, ethylene glycol, and fermentative hydrogen production effluent were used as the fuels. The proposed alloy electrocatalysts, denoted as Pt20RuxSny@C (where 20, x, and y represent the weight fractions of Pt, Ru, and Sn, respectively), were examined using scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping, transmission electron microscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements, X-ray diffraction analysis, and electrochemical measurements, in order to determine their morphologies, microstructures, compositions, phase structures, and electrochemical characteristics. The effects of the Sn content on the following factors were examined: 1) average particle size of the alloy NPs, 2) mesoporosity, 3) electrochemically active surfaces of Pt20RuxSny@C, and 4) ethanol oxidation reaction and ethylene glycol oxidation reaction activities. Higher Sn contents improved the catalytic efficiency of Pt20RuxSny when x = 0 or x = 10, with the optimized compositions being Pt20Sn30 and Pt20Ru10Sn15 for the binary and ternary alloys, respectively. Based on the ethanol and ethylene glycol oxidation reactions, we explain the role of Sn in promoting C[sbnd]C bond cleavage and in improving catalyst tolerance against poisoning. Overall, for both the ethanol system and the ethylene glycol system, the catalytic activities could be arranged as follows: Pt20Ru10Sn15@C > Pt20Sn30@C > Pt20Ru10@C > Pt20@C. The chronoamperometric measurement shows that Pt20Ru10Sn15@C is more stable than commercial E-TEK Pt/C catalyst under ethanol environment. Finally, the catalyst Pt20Ru10Sn15 was used successfully to demonstrate the feasibility of using the bioalcohol from a fermentation effluent as a fuel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalElectrochimica Acta
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2017


  • 2-carbon alcohol
  • fermentation effluent
  • fuel cell
  • Pt-Ru%-Sn alloy catalyst
  • Pt-Sn alloy catalyst


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