FUEL CELL CATALYSTS.
Final rept. 1 Dec 63-30 Nov 64,
ENGELHARD INDUSTRIES INC EAST NEWARK NJ
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A research program is carried out on electrode catalysts for fuel cells employing liquid organic fuels. Complete oxidation of the fuel to carbon dioxide and water is required under expulsion of these products from the fuel cell. The electrolyte, therefore, must be of sufficient acidity to avoid retention of carbon dioxide. Work under this contract concerned the relationship between activity and structural factors of precious metal caralysts. Catalysts considered were platinum, iridium, rhodium, and platinum alloys with ruthenium, rhodium or iridium. Aside from intrinsic factors catalytic activity is related to the accessible surface area. All variations of activity could be associated with the surface area development, and no other effect of primary crystallite size on activity found. Platinum-ruthenium alloys which have high surface areas and favorable pore structures exhibit markedly superior activity over platinum for the oxidation of methanol, ethane, propane and butene. Gas chromatographic measurements showed complete oxidation to carbon dioxide of ethane, propane and butene. With ethylene, however, a small amount of carbon monoxide was also formed. The catalytic metal may be diluted by supporting it on a suitable carrier which may increase activity and stability. A small particle size and low porosity of the carrier is desirable for improved mass transfer. Author
- Physical Chemistry
- Electric Power Production and Distribution