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Open AccessArticle

Novel Porous Nitrogen Doped Graphene/Carbon Black Composites as Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction Electrocatalyst for Power Generation in Microbial Fuel Cell

1,2,*, 2, 1,2,* and 1,2
1
Key Laboratory of Reservoir Aquatic Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 400714, China
2
Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chongqing 400714, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(6), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9060836
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 21 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 1 June 2019
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Abstract

To improve the power generation of a microbial fuel cell (MFC), a porous nitrogen-doped graphene/carbon black (NG/CB) composite as efficient oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalyst was successfully synthesized by pyrolyzing graphene oxide (GO) encapsulated CB with cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide as a bridge. This concept-to-proof synthesis can be considered as a template-like method. Based on this method, one composite named as NG/CB-10 was acquired using the optimized GO-to-CB mass ratio of 10:1. Electrochemical tests demonstrate that NG/CB-10 can catalyze ORR in neutral-pH medium through a four-electron pathway with positively shifted the onset potential, the enhanced current density and reduced charge transfer resistance. CB addition also prolongs the stability of NG/CB-10. The enhancement in electrochemical performance of NG/CB-10 was attributed to the enlarged surface area, abundant mesopores and high content of pyridinic nitrogen. The maximum power density of MFC equipping NG/CB-10 as cathode electrocatalyst reached 936 mW·m−2, which was 26% higher than that of NG and equal to that of platinum/carbon. The cost of NG/CB-10 was reduced by 25% compared with that of NG. This work provides a novel method to synthesize promising ORR electrocatalyst for MFC in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: template-like method; nitrogen-doped graphene; carbon black; oxygen reduction reaction; microbial fuel cell template-like method; nitrogen-doped graphene; carbon black; oxygen reduction reaction; microbial fuel cell
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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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Liu, Y.; Liu, Z.; Liu, H.; Liao, M. Novel Porous Nitrogen Doped Graphene/Carbon Black Composites as Efficient Oxygen Reduction Reaction Electrocatalyst for Power Generation in Microbial Fuel Cell. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 836.

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