Novel Platinum Alloy Catalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

The reduction the platinum content and a stability increase of ORR catalysts have long been the aim in fuel cell catalyst research. Alloys of the transition metals platinum have been used in the past decades to achieve these goals.

However, the most promising rare earth metal alloys cannot be obtained in the form of nanoparticles using common synthesis routes.

This project aims the following:

  • Establish novel and advanced synthesis routes to obtain nanoparticles of platinum alloys of rare earth metals
  • Characterize, evaluate and optimize the obtained catalyst
  • Synthesize standard platinum catalyst using the novel method
Pt-Alloys M. Escudero-Escribano, P. Malacrida, M. H. Hansen, U. G. Vej-Hansen, A. Velázquez-Palenzuela, V. Tripkovic, J. Schiøtz, J. Rossmeisl, I. E. L. Stephens, “Tuning the activity of Pt alloy electrocatalysts by means of the lanthanide contraction” Science, vol. 352, no. 6281, pp. 73–76, 2016.

Furthermore, we hope to apply this method to another classes of platinum alloy catalysts: Platinum silicon bulk alloys promise to be active towards CO and Methanol electroreduction. The question needs to be answered if these findings are applicable to Pt-Si alloys in the form of nanoparticles as well.

PtSi alloy A. Permyakova, B. Han, J. O. Jensen, N. J. Bjerrum, and Y. Shao-Horn, “Pt - Si bifunctional surfaces for CO and methanol electro-oxidation” J. Phys. Chem. C, vol. 119, no. 15, pp. 8023–8031, 2015.

The PhD project is funded by DTU as part of a focus effort on collaboration with KAIST in South Korea


Benedikt Axel Brandes
PhD student
DTU Energy
25 APRIL 2017