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With more and more technological advances being made, a growing global population, and greater push towards greener energy brings a great need for alternative sources of energy. In order to keep up with ever increasing demands for energy, direct formic acid fuel cells (DFAFCs) show great promise. However, the need for a cost effective, robust and efficient anodic catalyst towards DFAFCs is still imminent. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the efficiency, conductivity, and stability of palladium and cobalt binary nanocomposites on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). Three nanocomposites were synthesized with varying amounts of cobalt and a fixed amount of palladium on MWCNTs using a simple one pot synthesis utilizing sodium borohydride as a reducing agent. This allowed the palladium and cobalt nanoparticles to disperse along the carbon nanotube surface to provide greater catalytic surface area. The morphology was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging technique showing the binary nanocomposites were dispersed along the carbon nanotube surface. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) was then employed for the electrochemical characterization of formic acid oxidation (FAO) using the nanocomposites in a 0.50 M formic acid with 0.10 M sulfuric acid electrolyte. A glassy carbon electrode was modified with a fixed amount of the nanocomposites to enable correct comparisons of the effect of various amounts of cobalt. So far, the nanocomposites are demonstrating the direct 2 formic acid oxidation pathway. This along with all other electrochemical data will be compared to a standard commercially available 20% palladium on carbon Pearlman catalyst.

Content Notes

Research Report, Final Report Form

First Advisor

Tamanna McFarland



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