A novel approach to electrochemical modification of catalytic activity using a wireless configuration has been undertaken. This paper presents preliminary results on the modification of a platinum catalyst film supported on a pellet of Sr0.97Ce0.9Yb0.1O3-δ(SCYb), considered to be a mixed protonic-electronic conductor under reducing conditions. The wireless configuration utilises the mixed ionic and electronic conductivity of the supporting membrane to supply an ionic promoting species to the catalyst surface. Control of the flux of this species is achieved by adjusting the effective hydrogen chemical potential difference across the membrane in a dual-chamber reactor with one chamber acting as the "reaction side" and the other as the "sweep side". The reaction rate can be promoted by up to a factor of 1.6, for temperatures around 500 °C and low reactant concentrations, when hydrogen is introduced on the sweep side of the membrane reactor. The use of helium, moist helium and oxygen in helium as sweep gases did not modify the reaction rate. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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