Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scientists Increase Rate of Oxidation Reaction in Fuel Cells Using Carbon Nanotubes

Iranian researchers at University of Mazandaran produced an electrode with the help of carbon nanotubes, which can increase the rate of electro-oxidation of methanol in fuel cells.

“The use of carbon nanotubes in the production of modified electrodes has been developed due to the unique structural ability and amazing physico-chemical properties of such nanostructures such as high ratio of area to volume and high electrical conductivity. Therefore, we focused on the production of an electrode from the carbon paste containing modified carbon nanotube,” Seyed Reza Hosseini Zavvarmahaleh, PhD student of Mazandaran University in analytical chemistry, said in an interview with the news service of INIC.

Hosseini explained about the procedure in which the electrode was produced, and said, “We synthesized the carbon paste containing carbon nanotube by mixing graphite powder, paraffin oil and multi-walled carbon nanotube. Then, we modified it with poly (meta-toluidine)/triton through a voltammetric cycling method. Finally, we carried out the electrochemical precipitation of platinum particles on the polymeric film existing on the surface of the electrode in order to produce the final electrode.”

Elaborating on the important applications of this product, he said, “Considering the fact that fuel cells are the most important electrochemical tools for the direct conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy and they are secure and environment-friendly, and also electrodes are very important pieces of the cells, the modified electrodes can be used as anode in the electro-oxidation of methanol in fuel cells.”

Pointing to the fact that they entered platinum in the structure of the electrode by using a cheap electrode bed, he continued, “We designed an electrode by using a simple and non-ionic surfactant, which is able to catalyze the oxidation of methanol at a higher current intensity.”

The research has been published in detail in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, vol. 36, pp. 52-63, 2011.

Sources:
Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council

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