A porous Platinum ANODE will provide the many chemical sites for alcohol oxidation to occur.
Liquid electrolyte is in intimate contact with the Platinum and provides ion transfer at the many sites.
An alcohol molecule adsorbs to the Platinum catalyst at a site, and…if the site has no imperfections to prevent a catalyzed reaction…
The reaction occurs! Oxygen is consumed. Ions are created.
By-products are created.
By-products may include aldehydes, organic acids, and carbon dioxide. By-products may dissipate.
As long as alcohol molecules and active sites are available at the anode, multiple reactions will continue simultaneously and an electric current will be formed.
Similarly, at the CATHODE, where excess ions have collected, oxygen molecules will adsorb and…
will complete the electric circuit by reacting with the ions and producing water as a by-product that will dissipate.
Not only do the electrodes provide the Platinum catalyst for the chemical reactions required in the fuel cell, but both the anode and the cathode act as electrical conductors to carry electrons to and from the external circuit.
Sir Humphry Davy
– H. Davy postulates whether chemical and electrical forces are identical, 1806
Johann Wolfgang Döbereiner
– Döbereiner discovers the catalytic property of platinum, 1821
Christian Friedrich Schönbein
– C.F. Schönbein proposes the triple phase boundary in 1842
Sir William Robert Grove
– W.R. Grove discusses his recent invention of what is now generally regarded as the first working fuel cell, 1845
–Mond describing attempts to build a practical version of Grove’s gas battery using coal gas as fuel, 1889