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Catalysts for the electro-oxidation of small molecules

Advances in Electrocatalysis, Materials, Diagnostics and Durability

Electrocatalyst materials for low temperature fuel cells

Novel catalysts

  1. M. Watanabe,
  2. H. Uchida

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f500007

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Watanabe, M. and Uchida, H. 2010. Catalysts for the electro-oxidation of small molecules. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. University of Yamanashi Takeda, Kofu, Japan

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Direct oxidation-type fuel cells (DOFCs) have attracted great interest as a primary power source for portable electronic devices, wheelchairs, vehicles, and robots because of their simple system (no additional equipment such as a fuel reformer) and ease of maintenance. The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is a typical example of DOFC. Development of highly active anode catalysts for them is one of the most important issues in achieving high-energy conversion efficiency in DOFCs. To design such new electrocatalysts, we discuss the mechanism of methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) as well as CO oxidation reaction at several electrodes, based on in situ FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy combined with an electrochemical cell (EC-XPS). We also show changes in the MOR activities at various Pt alloy electrodes over the wide temperature range from 20 to 120 °C, obtained by using a thin-layer flow cell under pressurized operation. The electrooxidation of methoxy fuels is briefly discussed.


  • electrocatalyst;
  • electrooxidation;
  • methanol;
  • carbon monoxide;
  • DMFC