It is imperative to reduce society’s reliance upon the limited supply of fossil fuels. Direct methanol fuel cells are an attractive solution but there are several problems encountered by contemporary carbon-supported catalysts including poor efficiency and short life cycles due in part to methanol crossover. The following research investigated the potential of SnO2 as a replacement for carbon due to its high electrical conductivity, good corrosion resistance, and resistance to the effects of methanol crossover. In this paper, two synthesis methods to prepare Pt/SnO2 are reported: the impregnation process and the colloidal process, both relying primarily on ethylene glycol as the reduction solvent. The synthesized Pt/SnO2 material was characterized by TEM, SEM, EDX, and cyclic voltammetry.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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