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Materials 2015, 8(10), 6658-6667; doi:10.3390/ma8105331

Inexpensive Ipomoea aquatica Biomass-Modified Carbon Black as an Active Pt-Free Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in an Alkaline Medium

1
College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2
Research Institute for New Materials Technology, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Chongqing 402160, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alina M. Balu
Received: 13 July 2015 / Revised: 22 August 2015 / Accepted: 26 August 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porous Carbonaceous Materials from Biomass)
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Abstract

The development of inexpensive and active Pt-free catalysts as an alternative to Pt-based catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is an essential prerequisite for fuel cell commercialization. In this paper, we report a strategy for the design of a new Fe–N/C electrocatalyst derived from the co-pyrolysis of Ipomoea aquatica biomass, carbon black (Vulcan XC-72R) and FeCl3·6H2O at 900 °C under nitrogen atmosphere. Electrochemical results show that the Fe–N/C catalyst exhibits higher electrocatalytic activity for ORR, longer durability and higher tolerance to methanol compared to a commercial Pt/C catalyst (40 wt %) in an alkaline medium. In particular, Fe–N/C presents an onset potential of 0.05 V (vs. Hg/HgO) for ORR in an alkaline medium, with an electron transfer number (n) of ~3.90, which is close to that of Pt/C. Our results confirm that the catalyst derived from I. aquatica and carbon black is a promising non-noble metal catalyst as an alternative to commercial Pt/C catalysts. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen reduction reaction; Pt-free; Ipomoea aquatic; biomass oxygen reduction reaction; Pt-free; Ipomoea aquatic; biomass
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhang, Y.; Guo, C.; Ma, Z.; Wu, H.; Chen, C. Inexpensive Ipomoea aquatica Biomass-Modified Carbon Black as an Active Pt-Free Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in an Alkaline Medium. Materials 2015, 8, 6658-6667.

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