Direct alcohol fuel cells: Increasing platinum performance by modification with sp-group metals

Marta C. Figueiredo, Olli Sorsa, Nguyet Doan, Elina Pohjalainen, Helga Hildebrand, Patrik Schmuki, Benjamin P. Wilson, Tanja Kallio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


By using sp group metals as modifiers, the catalytic properties of Pt can be improved toward alcohols oxidation. In this work we report the performance increase of direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFC) fuelled with ethanol or 2-propanol with platinum based anode electrodes modified with Bi and Sb adatoms. For example, by simply adding Sb to the Pt/C based anode ink during membrane electrode assembly fabrication of a direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC) its performance is improved three-fold, with more than 100 mV increase in the open circuit potential. For the fuel cell fuelled with 2-propanol high power densities are obtained at very high potentials with these catalyst materials suggesting a great improvement for practical applications. Particularly in the case of Pt/C-Bi, the improvement is such that within 0.6 V (from 0.7 to 0.1 V) the power densities are between 7 and 9 mW/cm2. The results obtained with these catalysts are in the same range as those obtained with other bimetallic catalysts comprising of PtRu and PtSn, which are currently considered to be the best for these type of fuel cells and that are obtained by more complicated (and consequently more expensive) methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 2-Propanol
  • Bimetallic catalysts
  • Ethanol
  • Fuel cells


Dive into the research topics of 'Direct alcohol fuel cells: Increasing platinum performance by modification with sp-group metals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this