in-situ Electrochemical FTIR Study of the Mechanism of Ethanol Oxidation on Sn and Rh Modified Pt Electrodes
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Ethanol electrooxidation was studied through cyclic voltammetry (CV) and in-stiu electrochemical Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ECFTIR). Pt (111) and Pt (110) crystals were deposited under potential with tin, rhodium, and a combination of the two. Rhodium was chosen for its ability to break C-C bonds and tin was chosen for its ability to provide oxygen surface species. Cyclic voltammetry scans in ethanol plus acid solutions showed anodic onsets of ethanol oxidation at lower potentials for crystals with both rhodium and tin. ECFTIR scans were produced for each surface in-situ, such that spectra were created for different potentials. ECFTIR scans were taken with 2cm-1 resolution at 200mV potential steps. The most significant peaks occurred at 1112 cm-1 (Acetaldehyde), 1287 cm-1 (Acetic Acid), and 2362 cm-1 (CO2). We found that adding rhodium increases CO2 production but decreases the amount of acetaldehyde and acetic acid present. Surfaces modified with both tin and rhodium produced the largest CO2 peaks.