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High pressure pyrolyzed non-precious metal oxygen reduction catalysts for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

High pressure pyrolyzed non-precious metal oxygen reduction catalysts for alkaline polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
Sanetuntikul, J[Sanetuntikul, Jakkid]Shanmugam, S[Shanmugam, Sangaraju]
DGIST Authors
Sanetuntikul, J[Sanetuntikul, Jakkid]; Shanmugam, S[Shanmugam, Sangaraju]
Issue Date
Nanoscale, 7(17), 7644-7650
Article Type
Alkaline Fuel CellsAlkaline Polymer Electrolyte MembraneBrunauer-Emmett-Teller Surface AreasC (Programming Language)Catalyst ActivityCatalystsCathodesCoordination ReactionsDoping (Additives)DurabilityElectrocatalystsElectrodesElectrolytesElectrolytic ReductionFuel CellsMaximum Power DensityMetalsNitrogen-Doped CarbonsNon-Precious Metal CatalystsOxygenOxygen Reduction CatalystsOxygen Reduction ReactionPlatinumPlatinum AlloysPolyelectrolytesPrecious MetalsProton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)Rotating Ring-Disk ElectrodeSynthesis (Chemical)Transmission Electron Microscopy
Non-precious metal catalysts, such as metal-coordinated to nitrogen doped-carbon, have shown reasonable oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performances in alkaline fuel cells. In this report, we present the development of a highly active, stable and low-cost non-precious metal ORR catalyst by direct synthesis under autogenic-pressure conditions. Transmission electron microscopy studies show highly porous Fe-N-C and Co-N-C structures, which were further confirmed by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area measurements. The surface areas of the Fe-N-C and Co-N-C catalysts were found to be 377.5 and 369.3 m2 g-1, respectively. XPS results show the possible existence of N-C and M-Nx structures, which are generally proposed to be the active sites in non-precious metal catalysts. The Fe-N-C electrocatalyst exhibits an ORR half-wave potential 20 mV higher than the reference Pt/C catalyst. The cycling durability test for Fe-N-C over 5000 cycles shows that the half-wave potential lost only 4 mV, whereas the half-wave potential of the Pt/C catalyst lost about 50 mV. The Fe-N-C catalyst exhibited an improved activity and stability compared to the reference Pt/C catalyst and it possesses a direct 4-electron transfer pathway for the ORR process. Further, the Fe-N-C catalyst produces extremely low HO2- content, as confirmed by the rotating ring-disk electrode measurements. In the alkaline fuel single cell tests, maximum power densities of 75 and 80 mW cm-2 were observed for the Fe-N-C and Pt/C cathodes, respectively. Durability studies (100 h) showed that decay of the fuel cell current was more prominent for the Pt/C cathode catalyst compared to the Fe-N-C cathode catalyst. Therefore, the Fe-N-C catalyst appears to be a promising new class of non-precious metal catalysts prepared by an autogenic synthetic method. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Related Researcher
  • Author Shanmugam, Sangaraju Advanced Energy Materials Laboratory
  • Research Interests Electrocatalysts for fuel cells; water splitting; metal-air batteries; Polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells; flow batteries; Hydrogen generation and utilization
Department of Energy Science and EngineeringAdvanced Energy Materials Laboratory1. Journal Articles

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