We propose a method to enhance the fuel cell efficiency with the simultaneous removal of toxic heavy metal ions. Carbon monoxide (CO), an intermediate of methanol oxidation that is primarily responsible for Pt catalyst deactivation, can be used as an in-situ reducing agent for hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) with reactivating the CO-poisoned Pt catalyst. Using electro-oxidation measurements, the oxidation of adsorbed CO molecules coupled with the concurrent conversion of Cr (VI) to Cr (III) was confirmed. This concept was also successfully applied to a methanol fuel cell to enhance its performance efficiency and to remove toxic Cr (VI) at the same time.
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