Exploring the Ce-La-Cu system through microwave synthesis for enhancing the activity towards the CO oxidation reaction

  • Maitha Alketbi

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In energy-related applications, fuel cells are the promising tool for power generation. Fuel cells are electrochemical systems developed to replace the internal combustion engines used in automobile engines. The electrodes of Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) are made of platinum. Platinum is poisoned when it interacts with carbon monoxide. The hydrogen mixture, used as a fuel for PEMFC, consists of 5-15% CO (50000-150000 ppm). To maintain the efficiency of the fuel cell, CO clean-up approach is needed. This project aims to prepare a novel ceria based catalyst as an advance approach for CO oxidation, with potential of lower cost and higher catalytic performance compared to the existed ones. The microwave technique is used to prepare the novel ceria which are made by doping with transition and rare earth metals such as Lanthanum and copper. The presence of metal ion additives was sought to improve the oxygen storage and ionic conductivity, which are key properties that highly influence the catalytic performance. In addition, solvent type and alternative synthesis technique effect are studied. After that, to optimize the physical and chemical properties of the materials a series of spectroscopic and thermal technique. XRD and SEM will be used for studying the micro crystal structure and the morphology of the material. Then XPS technique was used to find the material's finger print. Furthermore, BET measurement technique was the texture and porosity of the catalyst. In addition to H2-TPR test for oxygen mobility studies, and CO2-TPD to examine the CO2 surface affinity. Following the physical characterization of the samples, for their catalytic performance toward CO oxidation will be assessed.
Date of AwardNov 2017
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorKyriaki Polychronopoulou (Supervisor)


  • Fuel cells
  • CO oxidation
  • catalysts
  • catalytic activity
  • microwave synthesis
  • XRD
  • Raman
  • XPS
  • SEM
  • TPD
  • TPR.

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