CO2-free power generation on an iron group nanoalloy catalyst via selective oxidation of ethylene glycol to oxalic acid in alkaline media.

Research paper by Takeshi T Matsumoto, Masaaki M Sadakiyo, Mei Lee ML Ooi, Sho S Kitano, Tomokazu T Yamamoto, Syo S Matsumura, Kenichi K Kato, Tatsuya T Takeguchi, Miho M Yamauchi

Indexed on: 09 Jul '14Published on: 09 Jul '14Published in: Scientific Reports


An Fe group ternary nanoalloy (NA) catalyst enabled selective electrocatalysis towards CO2-free power generation from highly deliverable ethylene glycol (EG). A solid-solution-type FeCoNi NA catalyst supported on carbon was prepared by a two-step reduction method. High-resolution electron microscopy techniques identified atomic-level mixing of constituent elements in the nanoalloy. We examined the distribution of oxidised species, including CO2, produced on the FeCoNi nanoalloy catalyst in the EG electrooxidation under alkaline conditions. The FeCoNi nanoalloy catalyst exhibited the highest selectivities toward the formation of C2 products and to oxalic acid, i.e., 99 and 60%, respectively, at 0.4 V vs. the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), without CO2 generation. We successfully generated power by a direct EG alkaline fuel cell employing the FeCoNi nanoalloy catalyst and a solid-oxide electrolyte with oxygen reduction ability, i.e., a completely precious-metal-free system.