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Influence of Sn Content, Nanostructural Morphology, and Synthesis Temperature on the Electrochemical Active Area of Ni-Sn/C Nanocomposite: Verification of Methanol and Urea Electrooxidation

1
Chemical Engineering Department, Minia University, El-Minia 61519, Egypt
2
Dept. of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Engineering, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272 Sharjah, UAE
3
Center for Advanced Materials Research, University of Sharjah, P.O. Box 27272 Sharjah, UAE
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(4), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9040330
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 21 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 3 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immobilized Non-Precious Electrocatalysts for Advanced Energy Devices)
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Abstract

In contrast to precious metals (e.g., Pt), which possess their electro catalytic activities due to their surface electronic structure, the activity of the Ni-based electrocatalysts depends on formation of an electroactive surface area (ESA) from the oxyhydroxide layer (NiOOH). In this study, the influences of Sn content, nanostructural morphology, and synthesis temperature on the ESA of Sn-incorporated Ni/C nanostructures were studied. To investigate the effect of the nanostructural, Sn-incorporated Ni/C nanostructures, nanofibers were synthesized by electrospinning a tin chloride/nickel acetate/poly (vinyl alcohol) solution, followed by calcination under inert atmosphere at high temperatures (700, 850, and 1000 °C). On the other hand, the same composite was formulated in nanoparticulate form by a sol-gel procedure. The electrochemical measurements indicated that the nanofibrous morphology strongly enhanced formation of the ESA. Investigation of the tin content concluded that the optimum co-catalyst content depends on the synthesis temperature. Typically, the maximum ESA was observed at 10 and 15 wt % of the co-catalyst for the nanofibers prepared at 700 and 850 °C, respectively. Study of the effect of synthesis temperature concluded that at the same tin content, 850 °C calcination temperature reveals the best activity compared to 700 and 1000 °C. Practical verification was achieved by investigation of the electrocatalytic activity toward methanol and urea oxidation. The results confirmed that the activity is directly proportionate to the ESA, especially in the case of urea oxidation. Moreover, beside the distinct increase in the current density, at the optimum calcination temperature and co-catalyst content, a distinguished decrease in the onset potential of both urea and methanol oxidation was observed. View Full-Text
Keywords: electroactive surface area; electrospinning; Sn-incorporated Ni/C nanofibers; Methanol; Urea electroactive surface area; electrospinning; Sn-incorporated Ni/C nanofibers; Methanol; Urea
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Barakat, N.A.M.; Ali Abdelkareem, M.; Abdelghani, E.A.M. Influence of Sn Content, Nanostructural Morphology, and Synthesis Temperature on the Electrochemical Active Area of Ni-Sn/C Nanocomposite: Verification of Methanol and Urea Electrooxidation. Catalysts 2019, 9, 330.

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