The influence of the size and oxidation state of Au nanoparticles (AuNPs) as electrocatalysts for the electro-oxidation of cellulose was studied. Carbon paper electrodes modified with AuNPs were used as the electrocatalysts for the electro-oxidation of cellulose dissolved in 1.3 m NaOH. The size and oxidation state of the AuNPs were determined by using SEM, TEM, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Both the size and the oxidation state of the AuNPs were found to influence the electrocatalytic properties of the electrode, as studied by using cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The carbon paper electrodes decorated with AuNPs (less than 25 nm) that consist of metallic Au gave rise to a significantly higher electrocatalytic activity than a bare polycrystalline Au electrode.
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