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Keywords:

  • electrochemistry;
  • ethanol oxidation;
  • fuel cells;
  • NMR spectroscopy;
  • reaction mechanisms
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Different anode catalysts (Pt/C, PtRu/C, Pt3Sn/C) and operating potentials lead to different product distributions in the anode exhaust of direct ethanol fuel cells, as shown by liquid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy (see typical spectrum). Addition of Ru or Sn to Pt/C increases current density, mainly because of enhanced acetic acid production, and the potential dependences of products give clues to reaction pathways of ethanol electro-oxidation.