Evaluation of Tungsten Carbide as the Electrocatalyst Support for Platinum Hydrogen Evolution/Oxidation Catalysts

Document Type


Subject Area(s)

Chemical Engineering


WC was investigated as an electrocatalyst support material for a monolayer-equivalent of Pt and the Pt/WC system was evaluated as an electrocatalyst for the HER and HOR and compared to commercial Pt/C. It was found that Pt/WC lost only 4% of its activity during aging, which was significantly better than Pt/C, which lost more than 20% of its activity under identical operating conditions. Most of the degradation of the Pt/WC performance was due to the decomposition of impurity WOx species on the support surface from synthesis that was identified by XPS. The activity and mechanism for the HER and HOR were also quantitatively evaluated. It was found that the reaction kinetics for the HER and HOR in both catalyst systems, Pt/WC and Pt/C, were identical, proceeding through the Volmer–Heyrovsky mechanism with an apparent activation energy of approximately 35 kJ/mol.