Enhanced activity observed for sulfuric acid and chlorosulfuric acid functionalized carbon black as PtRu and PtSn electrocatalyst support for DMFC and DEFC applications

Marcelo Carmo, Michele Brandalise, Almir Oliveira Neto, Estevam V. Spinacé, André D. Taylor, Marcelo Linardi, João Guilherme Rocha Poo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, carbon black Vulcan XC72 was successfully functionalized in an autoclave with sulfuric acid (SA) and Chlorosulfuric acid (C-SA). The functionalized carbons were then used as supports to prepare PtRu/C and PtSn/C electrocatalysts by an alcohol-reduction process. Physical characterization was performed by BET, LS, XRD, EDX, and TEM. The electrochemical characterization showed that the catalysts supported on functionalized carbons exhibited better performance for alcohol oxidation if compared to those using unfunctionalized supports. The observed better performance can be mainly attributed to the easier access with protons (higher ionic transport), better wettability (higher water uptake), and better distribution of the nanoparticles over the support (higher platinum utilization); indicating that sulfonation is an efficient approach to functionalize, improve performance, and reduce costs of fuel cell catalysts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14659-14667
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2011



  • Carbon black functionalization
  • Chlorosulfuric acid
  • Direct alcohol fuel cells
  • Direct ethanol fuel cell
  • Direct methanol fuel cell
  • Sulfuric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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