• electrooxidation;
  • ethanol;
  • fuel cells;
  • palladium;
  • supported catalysts
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture shows the selective transformation of ethanol into acetate ion on a Pd-(Ni-Zn) catalyst supported on carbon—a new, effective anode electrocatalyst for direct ethanol fuel cells. The selective conversion of ethanol occurs in an alkaline environment and is accompanied by the release of four electrons. In their Full Paper on page 99, C. Bianchini, F. Vizza et al. describe the synthesis of the new materials which involves the spontaneous deposition of Pd onto Ni-Zn alloys supported on Vulcan XC-72. The surfaces of the resulting Pd-(Ni-Zn)/C and Pd-(Ni-Zn-P)/C catalysts reveal the presence of both crystalline Pd clusters (0.5–1 nm) and single Pd sites together with nanosized Ni-Zn particles. These catalysts outperform any known anode material, even at palladium loadings as low as 22 μm cm−2, for the oxidation of ethanol in alkaline media, especially in terms of onset oxidation potential and specific current densities that can be higher than 3600 A g(Pd)−1.