Cobalt- Platinum Alloy

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Recently, researchers have found that an alloy of Cobalt and Platinum when doped with Manganese which act to be an effective catalyst for methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) that takes place at the anode of the direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs).

Key findings: 


  • Researchers have synthesized a trimetallic PtMnCo catalyst that displayed superior catalytic activity and high CO tolerance when compared to commercially available catalyst.
  • The choice of Manganese (Mn) as a dopant was based on its abundance and affordability and the multiple oxidation states it offers making it a good candidate for electro-catalysis.
  • Significance of DMFC
    • Among the different classes of fuel cells proposed, DMFCs have long been considered an attractive alternate power source for small vehicles such as forklifts and as battery chargers for mobile phones, digital cameras, laptops, and other small electronic gadgets.
    • It has high energy density, high efficiency, and low operating temperature.
    • They are also much safer to operate because they deal with liquid fuel (methanol).
  • The methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) at the anode and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode are the main processes that determine the performance of DMFCs.
  • Platinum is the most often used MOR catalyst. However, fundamental challenges such as slow kinetics, high manufacturing costs (due mostly to the pricey Pt-based catalyst), and CO poisoning of the Pt catalyst make commercialization of DMFCs challenging.
  • Therefore, the search for an alternative Pt-based catalyst that circumvents the above issues is one of the most pressing research problems with respect to DMFCs.
  • Alloying Pt with other transition metals such as (Ru, Co, Ni, and Fe) is thought to be a useful strategy for improving the catalytic performance and durability of Pt catalyst along with reducing the amount of Pt being used in the catalyst.


Q1) What is Platinum?

Platinum is a precious metal and a chemical element. It is a rare and valuable metal, known for its resistance to corrosion, malleability, ductility, and beautiful silver-white appearance.

Source: Cobalt- Platinum alloy spiced with manganese is an effective catalyst for methanol oxidation reaction of methanol fuel cells