Electro-oxidation of glycerol by tetrametallic platinum-gold–palladium-silver nanoparticles


In this work, the electrochemical conversion of glycerol was studied on tetrametallic PtAuPdAg catalyst. The PtAuPdAg nanoparticles were synthesized via a seed-mediated growth process. The structure of the as-prepared PtAuPdAg nanoparticles was characterized by transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy and UV–vis absorption spectroscopy. Electrochemical results indicate that the PtAuPdAg catalyst exhibits superior activity towards glycerol oxidation when compared with the Pt/C catalyst. In alkaline solutions, the PtAuPdAg catalyst possesses a current density of 8.90 mA cm−2, which is 18.2 times that of the Pt/C. Moreover, this result is higher than that of most previously reported catalysts. Additionally, the products of glycerol oxidation over the catalyst at potentials of 0.5, 0.7, 0.9, 1.1 and 1.3 V were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC results show that the PtAuPdAg catalyst yields a remarkable dihydroxyacetone selectivity of 79.6%, and that the operating conditions have limited effects on the product distribution.

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The project was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21706081).

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Correspondence to Yi Shen.

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Zhou, Y., Shen, Y. Electro-oxidation of glycerol by tetrametallic platinum-gold–palladium-silver nanoparticles. J Appl Electrochem 51, 79–86 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10800-020-01426-z

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  • PtAuPdAg
  • Glycerol oxidation
  • Selectivity
  • Dihydroxyacetone
  • Seed-mediated synthesis