Fuel cells can be operated directly by oxidation of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to acetone (ACE). If the product ACE is hydrogenated, IPA is formed again. In this way, IPA serves as a rechargeable electrofuel. In this work, we study the oxidation of IPA at Pt electrodes using several complementary experimental methods, including cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical real-time mass spectrometry (EC-RTMS), and electrochemical infrared reflection absorption spectroscopy (EC-IRRAS), in combination with density functional theory (DFT) to assign the vibrational modes of IPA and ACE. Different types of Pt electrodes are investigated, namely single crystalline Pt(111) surfaces, polycrystalline Pt, and nanostructured tubular Pt electrodes. The onset of the IPA oxidation on the Pt electrodes is observed at 0.3 VRHE, yielding ACE with high selectivity. At potentials above 0.9 VRHE, the formation of Pt oxide inhibits the reaction. The only side reaction observed is the formation of small amounts of CO2. We show that adsorbed ACE is formed at the Pt electrodes poisoning the surface. On nanotubular electrodes with high surface area, ACE stays mainly adsorbed on the surface, and only a small fraction desorbs. These observations suggest that poisoning of the Pt electrode by adsorbed ACE limits the oxidation of IPA.
Предметные области Scopus
- Химия (все)