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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
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Research Institute for New Materials Technology, Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, Chongqing 402160, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alina M. Balu
Materials 2015, 8(10), 6658-6667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8105331
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)
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
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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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