We present here a critical review of several technologically important electrocatalytic systems operating in alkaline electrolytes. These include the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) occurring on catalysts containing Pt, Pd, Ir, Ru, or Ag, the methanol oxidation reaction (MOR) occurring on Pt-containing catalysts, and the ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) occurring on Ni–Co–Fe alloy catalysts. Each of these catalytic systems is relevant to alkaline fuel cell (AFC) technology, while the ORR systems are also relevant to chlor-alkali electrolysis and metal-air batteries. The use of alkaline media presents advantages both in electrocatalytic activity and in materials stability and corrosion. Therefore, prospects for the continued development of alkaline electrocatalytic systems, including alkaline fuel cells, seem very promising.
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