Alkaline Ethanol Oxidation Reaction on Carbon Supported Ternary PdNiBi Nanocatalyst using Modified Instant Reduction Synthesis Method

Bernd Cermenek*, Bostjan Genorio, Thomas Winter, Sigrid Wolf, Justin G. Connell, Michaela Roschger, Ilse Letofsky-Papst, Norbert Kienzl, Brigitte Bitschnau, Viktor Hacker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFC) still lack active and efficient electrocatalysts for the alkaline ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR). In this work, a new instant reduction synthesis method was developed to prepare carbon supported ternary PdNiBi nanocatalysts with improved EOR activity. Synthesized catalysts were characterized with a variety of structural and compositional analysis techniques in order to correlate their morphology and surface chemistry with electrochemical performance. The modified instant reduction synthesis results in well-dispersed, spherical Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5 nanoparticles on Vulcan XC72R support (Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5/C (II-III)), with sizes ranging from 3.7 ± 0.8 to 4.7 ± 0.7 nm. On the other hand, the common instant reduction synthesis method leads to significantly agglomerated nanoparticles (Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5/C (I)). EOR activity and stability of these three different carbon supported PdNiBi anode catalysts with a nominal atomic ratio of 85:10:5 were probed via cyclic voltammetry and chronoamperometry using the rotating disk electrode method. Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5/C (II) showed the highest electrocatalytic activity (150 mA⋅cm −2; 2678 mA⋅mg −1) with low onset potential (0.207 V) for EOR in alkaline medium, as compared to a commercial Pd/C and to the other synthesized ternary nanocatalysts Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5/C (I) and Pd 85Ni 10Bi 5/C (III). This new synthesis approach provides a new avenue to developing efficient, carbon supported ternary nanocatalysts for future energy conversion devices. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Alkaline direct ethanol fuel cell
  • Ethanol oxidation reaction activity
  • Modified instant reduction synthesis method
  • Morphology
  • Pd Ni Bi nanocatalyst
  • Structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production

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