The Enhancement of the Fuel Efficiency of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) as an Alternative Energy Source

Joshua Perez, California State University, Fullerton
Omar Munneb, California State University, Fullerton
Emily Do, California State University, Fullerton
John L. Haan, California State University, Fullerton

Abstract

As natural resources continue to be depleted over time, alternative energy methods have been studied more thoroughly as a potential means of replacing older forms of energy production. Renewable fuels such as glycerol and propylene glycol are examples of ones that have been of great interest for direct fuel cells (DLFCs) due to their abundance in nature, inexpensive cost, and ability to be harvested from plants. From the electrochemical oxidation of the hydroxyl groups found on these fuels, energy is able to be generated in a non-toxic and environmentally friendly manner. Acidic media is often the condition of choice for the electrochemical studies of these fuels, and as a result, utilizes noble metals such as palladium due to the corrosive nature of acids. However, in alkaline media, less expensive materials such as transition metals and other elements can be used in place of the noble metals. One particularly promising alkaline fuel is ascorbate (vitamin c). Its exceptional ability to be efficiently oxidized by non-palladium based catalysts that are normally incompatible with other renewable fuels make it an excellent candidate for further studies. In this work, different catalysts were compared in their capacity to enhance the oxidation of ascorbate in alkaline media to that of palladium. A significant enhancement in ascorbate fuel oxidation was observed on several carbon supported palladium-nickel catalysts when compared to a carbon supported palladium catalyst.

 
Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

The Enhancement of the Fuel Efficiency of Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) as an Alternative Energy Source

BSC-Ursa Minor 149

As natural resources continue to be depleted over time, alternative energy methods have been studied more thoroughly as a potential means of replacing older forms of energy production. Renewable fuels such as glycerol and propylene glycol are examples of ones that have been of great interest for direct fuel cells (DLFCs) due to their abundance in nature, inexpensive cost, and ability to be harvested from plants. From the electrochemical oxidation of the hydroxyl groups found on these fuels, energy is able to be generated in a non-toxic and environmentally friendly manner. Acidic media is often the condition of choice for the electrochemical studies of these fuels, and as a result, utilizes noble metals such as palladium due to the corrosive nature of acids. However, in alkaline media, less expensive materials such as transition metals and other elements can be used in place of the noble metals. One particularly promising alkaline fuel is ascorbate (vitamin c). Its exceptional ability to be efficiently oxidized by non-palladium based catalysts that are normally incompatible with other renewable fuels make it an excellent candidate for further studies. In this work, different catalysts were compared in their capacity to enhance the oxidation of ascorbate in alkaline media to that of palladium. A significant enhancement in ascorbate fuel oxidation was observed on several carbon supported palladium-nickel catalysts when compared to a carbon supported palladium catalyst.