[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A composite material of AuPd–WC/C has been rapidly prepared by the intermittent microwave heating (IMH) method. The material is nanostructured and well dispersed on carbon according to the SEM and TEM measurements. The activity of the AuPd–WC/C electrocatalyst for the oxidation of ethanol in alkaline solution is significantly higher than that of Pt/C at the same total electrocatalyst loadings. The onset potential shifts towards negative side for 200 mV and the peak current density increases ∼3 times for the ethanol oxidation reaction on AuPd–WC/C electrocatalysts as compared to that on Pt/C. In addition, the AuPd–WC/C electrocatalyst is more stable under constant current density polarization than that of Pt/C. It indicates that no strongly adsorbed species formed during the oxidation of ethanol on AuPd–WC/C because the cleavage of the C–C bond of the ethanol is difficult on this Pt-free electrocatalyst. The high activity makes AuPd–WC/C electrocatalyst a potential candidate for the application in direct ethanol fuel cells and ethanol sensors.