Tailor-Tuned Nanoparticle-Based CoOx/Pd Electrocatalyst for the Direct Glycerol Fuel Cell

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Abstract. A glassy carbon (GC) electrode decorated with an efficient nanoparticle-based electrocatalyst of palladium (nano-Pd) and cobalt oxide (nano-CoOx) is electrochemically prepared and examined towards glycerol electro-oxidation (GO) for direct glycerol fuel cell (DGFC) applications. The activity of the tailored electrode toward GO depends on the catalyst components and loadings onto the GC surface. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) technique is used to evaluate the electrocatalytic activity of the introduced catalyst toward GO. Field-emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used to disclose the morphology and the crystallographic structure of the surface, respectively. CV measurements depict that the oxidation peak current (Ip) of GO obtained at CoOx/Pd/GC electrode (where nano-Pd is first electrodeposited at GC surface followed by nano-CoOx deposition) is almost double the value obtained at Pd/GC electrode (where nano-Pd is electrodeposited at GC surface), concurrently with a significant cathodic shift in the onset potential (Eonset) of GO ≅ 80 mV. As well, CoOx/Pd/GC electrode shows a good stability towards GO with continuous electrolysis. It also shows an enhanced catalytic activity towards other alcohols oxidation (i.e., methanol and ethylene glycol) when compared to Pd/GC electrode.