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Transition Metal–Nitrogen–Carbon (M–N–C) Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Insights on Synthesis and Performance in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Dipartimento di Scienza Applicata e Tecnologia, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
ChemEngineering 2019, 3(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/chemengineering3010016
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Materials for Renewable Energy Technologies)
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Abstract

Platinum group metal (PGM)-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have attracted increasing interest as potential candidates to replace Pt, in the view of a future widespread commercialization of polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) devices, especially for automotive applications. Among different types of PGM-free catalysts, M–N–C materials appear to be the most promising ones in terms of activity. These catalysts can be produced using a wide variety of precursors containing C, N, and one (or more) active transition metal (mostly Fe or Co). The catalysts synthesis methods can be very different, even though they usually involve at least one pyrolysis step. In this review, five different synthesis methods are proposed, and described in detail. Several catalysts, produced approximately in the last decade, were analyzed in terms of performance in rotating disc electrode (RDE), and in H2/O2 or H2/air PEFC. The catalysts are subdivided in five different categories corresponding to the five synthesis methods described, and the RDE and PEFC performance is put in relation with the synthesis method. View Full-Text
Keywords: PGM-free; synthesis methods; carbon support, N-containing polymer; silica template; metal organic framework; cost; rotating disk electrode; half wave potential; peak power density PGM-free; synthesis methods; carbon support, N-containing polymer; silica template; metal organic framework; cost; rotating disk electrode; half wave potential; peak power density
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Osmieri, L. Transition Metal–Nitrogen–Carbon (M–N–C) Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction. Insights on Synthesis and Performance in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. ChemEngineering 2019, 3, 16.

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