Next Article in Journal
Moisture Absorption of Carbon/Epoxy Nanocomposites
Next Article in Special Issue
The Effects of Geometry and Chemical Composition of Nanoparticles on The Fracture Toughness of iPP Nanocomposites
Previous Article in Journal
Improving Mechanical, Thermal and Damping Properties of NiTi (Nitinol) Reinforced Aluminum Nanocomposites
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nitrogen-Doped Carbon Nanotube/Polypropylene Composites with Negative Seebeck Coefficient
Open AccessArticle

Hydrothermal Carbon/Carbon Nanotube Composites as Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

1
Associate Laboratory LSRE-LCM, Departamento de Engenharia Química, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, R. Dr Roberto Frias s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
2
REQUIMTE/LAQV, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
3
Departamento de Geociências, Ambiente e Ordenamento do Território, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs4010020
Received: 11 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 17 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Carbon Nanotube Composites)
The oxygen reduction reaction is an essential reaction in several energy conversion devices such as fuel cells and batteries. So far, the best performance is obtained by using platinum-based electrocatalysts, which make the devices really expensive, and thus, new and more affordable materials should be designed. Biomass-derived carbons were prepared by hydrothermal carbonization in the presence of carbon nanotubes with different oxygen surface functionalities to evaluate their effect on the final properties. Additionally, nitrogen functional groups were also introduced by ball milling the carbon composite together with melamine. The oxygen groups on the surface of the carbon nanotubes favor their dispersion into the precursor mixture and the formation of a more homogenous carbon structure with higher mechanical strength. This type of structure partially avoids the crushing of the nanotubes and the carbon spheres during the ball milling, resulting in a carbon composite with enhanced electrical conductivity. Undoped and N-doped composites were used as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction. The onset potential increases by 20% due to the incorporation of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and nitrogen, which increases the number of active sites and improves the chemical reactivity, while the limiting current density increases by 47% due to the higher electrical conductivity. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon nanotubes; hydrothermal carbons; nitrogen functionalization; oxygen reduction reaction; electrocatalysis carbon nanotubes; hydrothermal carbons; nitrogen functionalization; oxygen reduction reaction; electrocatalysis
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Morais, R.G.; Rey-Raap, N.; Costa, R.S.; Pereira, C.; Guedes, A.; Figueiredo, J.L.; Pereira, M.F.R. Hydrothermal Carbon/Carbon Nanotube Composites as Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. J. Compos. Sci. 2020, 4, 20.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop