Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering


TiO2and Nb-TiO2 were investigated as stable supports for Pt-Ru electrocatalysts towards methanol oxidation. X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy (XPS) data for all these TiO2-based supports show oxidation states of Ti4+, with no Ti3+, suggesting low electronic conductivity. However, the deposition of metal nanoparticles onto the supports at loadings of 60 wt% metal dramatically increased conductivity, making these electrodes (metal particles + support) suitable for electrochemistry even though the supports have low conductivity. For some of these TiO2-based supports, the activity of Pt-Ru towards methanol oxidation was excellent, even surpassing the activity of the same electrocatalysts supported on carbon. The activity of the electrocatalyst depended on TiO2 crystalline structure, the addition of Nb into the support and the weight loading of metal. For example, using anatase Nb-TiO2 as a support increased the electrochemical activity of Pt-Ru by 83% compared to the same electrocatalysts supported on either carbon Vulcan XC-72R or rutile Nb-TiO2. This electrode was also 64% more active than the one that had anatase TiO2 as the support with no Nb. Finally, increasing the weight loading of metal from 5 to 60% increased the conductivity by 5 orders of magnitude and the activity by a factor of 20.