A review is presented dealing with the voltammetric and FTIR spectroscopic study of the oxidation of methanol and ethanol on platinum single crystal electrodes in alkaline media. Results concerning simple amino acids (glycine, serine and alanine) in acid medium are also presented. In all cases, the electrooxidation and adsorption properties of these compounds are strongly dependent on the surface structure of the electrode. The electrooxidation of methanol and ethanol in alkaline solutions gives formate and acetate, respectively, as main soluble products. The oxidation of the simple amino acids studied produces in all cases strongly adsorbed cyanide as main poisoning species that blocks the electrode surface avoiding further amino acid oxidation.
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