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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Apr 2;125(13):3680-1.

Formate, an active intermediate for direct oxidation of methanol on pt electrode.

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  • 1Catalysis Research Center, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0811, Japan.


The electro-oxidation of methanol on a Pt thin film electrode in acidic solution has been investigated by in situ surface-enhanced IR absorption spectroscopy. A new IR peak is observed at around 1320 cm-1 when the electrode potential is more positive than 0.5 V, where the bulk oxidation of MeOH occurs. This peak has been assigned to the symmetric stretching of formate species adsorbed on the Pt electrode surface. It is the first observation of formate adsorption during the electro-oxidation of methanol on a Pt surface. A near proportional relationship between the intensity of the IR band of the formate species and MeOH electro-oxidation current is observed. A new reaction scheme via non-CO pathway with formate as the active intermediate is proposed for the methanol electro-oxidation process.

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