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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2010 Aug 21;12(31):8822-31. doi: 10.1039/b925472b. Epub 2010 Jun 10.

Intrinsic activity and poisoning rate for HCOOH oxidation on platinum stepped surfaces.

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  • 1Instituto de ElectroquĂ­mica, Universidad de Alicante. Apdo. 99, E-03080, Alicante, Spain.


Pulsed voltammetry has been used to study formic acid oxidation on platinum stepped surfaces to determine the kinetics of the reaction and the role of the surface structure in the reactivity. From the current transients at different potentials, the intrinsic activity of the electrode through the active intermediate reaction path (j(theta = 0)), as well as the rate constant for the CO formation (k(ads)) have been calculated. The kinetics for formic acid oxidation through the active intermediate reaction path is strongly dependent on the surface structure of the electrode, with the highest activity found for the Pt(100) surface. The presence of steps, both on (100) and (111) terraces, does not increase the activity of these surfaces. CO formation only takes place in a narrow potential window very close to the local potential of zero total charge. The extrapolation of the results obtained with stepped surfaces with (111) terraces to zero step density indicates that CO formation should not occur on an ideal Pt(111) electrode. Additionally, the analysis of the Tafel slopes obtained for the different electrodes suggests that the oxidation of formic acid is strongly affected by the presence of adsorbed anions, hydrogen and water.

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