Special Issue "Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction"

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Electrocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Zhenghua Tang

School of Enviroment and Technology, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
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Interests: my specialization lies on Pt based or other nobel metal based composite materials for oxygen reduction reaction, oxygen evolution reduction as well as PEMFC and metal air-battery application and beyond
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ligui Li

School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanomaterials for efficient electrocatalysis in low temperature fuel cells, metal-air batteries, overall water splitting systems etc.; high-performance electrode materials for Li-S batteries; assembling of conjugated polymer and their applications in polymer/perovskite solar cells
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Shouzhong Zou

Department of Chemistry, American University, Washington, DC 20016, USA
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Interests: developing catalysts for low temperature fuel cells; CO2 reduction and gas sensing; advancing spectroscopic and microscopic techniques for the characterization of surfaces and interfaces; electrocatalysis, surface vibrational spectroscopy, metal and carbon nanomaterials, proton exchange membrane fuel cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ever-increasing demand for energy and the negative environmental impacts imposed by using fossil fuels have called for efficient energy conversion and storage technologies. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and lithium air (oxygen) batteries are among the most promising technologies to answer this call. Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is a cathode reaction in PEMFCs and lithium-oxygen batteries. The sluggish ORR requires the development of highly-efficient ORR catalysts before these technologies are viable and can be widely deployed in the market. Consequently, tremendous research efforts have been made in ORR catalysts and many highly-active and stable catalysts have emerged. This Special Issue aims to cover recent progress and trends in synthesizing, characterizing and evaluating advanced electrocatalysts for ORR, as well as a theoretical understanding of ORR that provides rational design guides for high performance ORR catalysts.

Prof. Dr. Zhenghua Tang
Prof. Dr. Ligui Li
Prof. Dr. Shouzhong Zou
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
  • Electrocatalysts
  • Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs)
  • Lithium air batteries
  • Lithium oxygen batteries
  • Pt-based alloys
  • Platinum
  • Non-precious metal
  • Oxygen evolution reaction (OER)
  • density functional theory

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Oxygen Reduction Reaction and Hydrogen Evolution Reaction Catalyzed by Pd–Ru Nanoparticles Encapsulated in Porous Carbon Nanosheets
Catalysts 2018, 8(8), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8080329
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 11 August 2018
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Abstract
Developing bi-functional electrocatalysts for both oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is crucial for enhancing the energy transfer efficiency of metal–air batteries and fuel cells, as well as producing hydrogen with a high purity. Herein, a series of Pd–Ru alloyed
[...] Read more.
Developing bi-functional electrocatalysts for both oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is crucial for enhancing the energy transfer efficiency of metal–air batteries and fuel cells, as well as producing hydrogen with a high purity. Herein, a series of Pd–Ru alloyed nanoparticles encapsulated in porous carbon nanosheets (CNs) were synthesized and employed as a bifunctional electrocatalyst for both ORR and HER. The TEM measurements showed that Pd–Ru nanoparticles, with a size of approximately 1–5 nm, were uniformly dispersed on the carbon nanosheets. The crystal and electronic structures of the PdxRu100−x/CNs series were revealed by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The as-prepared samples exhibited effective ORR activity in alkaline media and excellent HER activity in both alkaline and acid solutions. The Pd50Ru50/CNs sample displayed the best activity and stability among the series, which is comparable and superior to that of commercial 10% Pd/C. For ORR, the Pd50Ru50/CNs catalyst exhibited an onset potential of 0.903 V vs. RHE (Reversible Hydrogen Electrode) and 11.4% decrease of the current density after 30,000 s of continuous operation in stability test. For HER, the Pd50Ru50/CNs catalyst displayed an overpotential of 37.3 mV and 45.1 mV at 10 mA cm−2 in 0.1 M KOH and 0.5 M H2SO4, respectively. The strategy for encapsulating bimetallic alloys within porous carbon materials is promising for fabricating sustainable energy toward electrocatalysts with multiple electrocatalytic activities for energy related applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Transition Metal on the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction over Nano-Molybdenum-Carbide Catalyst
Catalysts 2018, 8(7), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8070294
Received: 29 June 2018 / Revised: 18 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) provides a promising way to solve energy and environment problems. In this work, various transition metals (Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Ag, and Pt) were selected to support on molybdenum carbides by a simple organic-inorganic precursor
[...] Read more.
The highly efficient electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) provides a promising way to solve energy and environment problems. In this work, various transition metals (Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Ag, and Pt) were selected to support on molybdenum carbides by a simple organic-inorganic precursor carburization process. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis results indicated that the β-Mo2C phase was formed in all metal-doped samples. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis indicated that the binding energy of Mo2+ species (Mo2C) shifted to a lower value after metal was doped on the molybdenum carbide surface. Comparing with pure β-Mo2C, the electrocatalytic activity for HER was improved by transition metal doping on the surface. Remarkably, the catalytic activity improvement was more obvious when Pt was doped on molybdenum carbide (2% Pt-Mo2C). The 2% Pt-Mo2C required a η10 of 79 mV, and outperformed that of pure β-Mo2C (η10 = 410 mV) and other transition metal doped molybdenum carbides, with a small Tafel slope (55 mV/dec) and a low onset overpotential (32 mV) in 0.5 M H2SO4. Also, the 2% Pt-Mo2C catalyst demonstrated a high stability for the HER in 0.5 M H2SO4. This work highlights a feasible strategy to explore efficient electrocatalysts with low cost via engineering on the composition and nanostructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessArticle An Iron-Based Catalyst with Multiple Active Components Synergetically Improved Electrochemical Performance for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8060243
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Lack of highly active and stable non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) as an alternative to Pt for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the application of zinc-air batteries and proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) significantly hinders the commercialization of these energy devices. Herein, we synthesize
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Lack of highly active and stable non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) as an alternative to Pt for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in the application of zinc-air batteries and proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) significantly hinders the commercialization of these energy devices. Herein, we synthesize a new type of catalyst composed of nitrogen-coordinated and carbon-embedded metal (Fe-N/Fe3C/Fe/C) by pyrolyzing a precursor at 800 °C under argon atmosphere, and the precursor is obtained by heating a mixture of the tri (dipyrido [3,2-a:2′,3′-c] phenazinyl) phenylene and FeSO4 at 160 °C in a Teflon-lined stainless autoclave. The resultant Fe-N/Fe3C/Fe/C-800 exhibits the highest activity for the ORR with onset and half-wave potentials of 1.00 and 0.82 V in 0.1 M KOH, respectively. Furthermore, it also shows a potential ORR activity in 0.1 M HClO4, which is promising for the application in commercial PEMFCs. Most importantly, Fe-N/Fe3C/Fe/C-800 exhibits a comparable electrochemical performance to Pt/C for the application in zinc-air battery. The specific capacity approaches 700 mAh·g−1, and the maximum power density is also comparable to that of Pt/C at the current density of 200 mA·cm−2. The work opens up a simple strategy to prepare ORR electrocatalyts for zinc-air battery and PEMFCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessArticle Electrocatalytic Performance of Carbon Supported WO3-Containing Pd–W Nanoalloys for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Media
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8060225
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
In this paper, we report that WOx containing nanoalloys exhibit stable electrocatalytic performance in alkaline media, though bulk WO3 is easy to dissolve in NaOH solution. Carbon supported oxide-rich Pd–W alloy nanoparticles (PdW/C) with different Pd:W atom ratios were prepared by
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In this paper, we report that WOx containing nanoalloys exhibit stable electrocatalytic performance in alkaline media, though bulk WO3 is easy to dissolve in NaOH solution. Carbon supported oxide-rich Pd–W alloy nanoparticles (PdW/C) with different Pd:W atom ratios were prepared by the reduction–oxidation method. Among the catalysts, the oxide-rich Pd0.8W0.2/C (Pd/W = 8:2, atom ratio) exhibits the highest catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy data shows that ~40% of Pd atoms and ~60% of the W atoms are in their oxide form. The Pd 3d5/2 binding energy of the oxide-rich Pd–W nanoalloys is higher than that of Pd/C, indicating the electronic structure of Pd is affected by the strong interaction between Pd and W/WO3. Compare to Pd/C, the onset potential of the oxygen reduction reaction at the oxide-rich Pd0.8W0.2/C shifts to a higher potential. The current density (mA·mg Pd−1) at the oxide-rich Pd0.8W0.2/C is ~1.6 times of that at Pd/C. The oxide-rich Pd0.8W0.2/C also exhibits higher catalytic stability than Pd/C, which demonstrates that it is a prospective candidate for the cathode of fuel cells operating with alkaline electrolyte. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessArticle Cost-Effective and Facile Preparation of Fe2O3 Nanoparticles Decorated N-Doped Mesoporous Carbon Materials: Transforming Mulberry Leaf into a Highly Active Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reactions
Catalysts 2018, 8(3), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8030101
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
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Abstract
Herein, a promising method to prepare efficient N-doped porous carbon-supported Fe2O3 nanoparticles (Fe2O3/N-PCs) ORR electrocatalysts is presented. The porous carbon was derived from a biomass i.e., mulberry leaf through a cost-effective approach. The existence of diverse
[...] Read more.
Herein, a promising method to prepare efficient N-doped porous carbon-supported Fe2O3 nanoparticles (Fe2O3/N-PCs) ORR electrocatalysts is presented. The porous carbon was derived from a biomass i.e., mulberry leaf through a cost-effective approach. The existence of diverse compounds containing carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur in mulberry leaf benefit the formation and uniform dispersion of Fe2O3 nanoparticles (NPs) in the porous carbon. In evaluating the effects of the carbon support on the Fe2O3 NPs towards the ORR, we found that the sample of Fe2O3/N-PCs-850 (Fe2O3/N-PCs obtained at 850 °C) with high surface area of 313.8 m2·g−1 exhibits remarkably superior ORR activity than that of materials acquired under other temperatures. To be specific, the onset potential and reduction peak potential of Fe2O3/N-PCs-850 towards ORR are 0.936 V and 0.776 V (vs. RHE), respectively. The calculated number of electron transfer n for the ORR is 3.9, demonstrating a near four-electron-transfer process. Furthermore, it demonstrates excellent longtime stability and resistance to methanol deactivation compared with Pt/C catalyst. This study provides a novel design of highly active ORR electrocatalysts from low-cost abundant plant products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessArticle Synthesis of Three-Dimensionally Ordered Macroporous NiCe Catalysts for Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Propane to Propene
Catalysts 2018, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8010019
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 8 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
Three-dimensionally ordered macroporous (3DOM) NiCe catalysts with different Ni/Ce molar ratio were fabricated using the colloidal crystal templating method. The physic-chemical properties of the samples were characterized by various techniques, including N2 adsorption–desorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman, and
[...] Read more.
Three-dimensionally ordered macroporous (3DOM) NiCe catalysts with different Ni/Ce molar ratio were fabricated using the colloidal crystal templating method. The physic-chemical properties of the samples were characterized by various techniques, including N2 adsorption–desorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Raman, and H2-temperature-programmed reduction (TPR) characterizations. The results revealed that the 3DOM NiCe samples preserved the three-dimensionally ordered macroporous channels with interlinked micro- or mesoporous structure and highly dispersed nickel oxide species in the framework upon different amount of nickel incorporation. In the evaluation of the oxidative dehydrogenation (ODH) of propane, the 3DOM NiCe catalysts exhibited higher selectivity and yield to propene than the amorphous NiCe catalyst. An optimum yield of propene of 11.9% with the 30.3% propane conversion at 375 °C was obtained over the 3DOM 2NiCe catalyst. Combining XRD, TPR, and Raman analysis, it could be found that the nickel incorporation in CeO2 lattice produced a high concentration of oxygen vacancies that were the active sites for the oxidative dehydrogenation of propane. Besides this, the 3DOM structure promoted the rapid diffusion of the reactants and products—favorable for the generation of propene in the ODH of propane. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Recent Progress in Nitrogen-Doped Metal-Free Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Catalysts 2018, 8(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8050196
Received: 16 April 2018 / Revised: 1 May 2018 / Accepted: 2 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (2035 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electrocatalysis for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode plays a critical role in fuel cells and metal-air batteries. However, the high-cost and sluggish kinetics of the catalytic reaction have hindered its development. Therefore, developing efficient catalysts to address these issues is
[...] Read more.
Electrocatalysis for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode plays a critical role in fuel cells and metal-air batteries. However, the high-cost and sluggish kinetics of the catalytic reaction have hindered its development. Therefore, developing efficient catalysts to address these issues is of vital significance. In this work, we summarized the recent progress of nitrogen (N)-doped metal-free catalysts for the ORR, owing to their high catalytic activity (comparable to Pt/C) and cost-effectiveness. The synthetic strategy and the morphology structure to catalytic performance are mainly discussed. Furthermore, the design of N-doped nanomaterials with other heteroatoms in aiming to further enhance the ORR performance is also reviewed. At the end of the review, we provide a brief summary of the N-doped carbon-based catalysts in enhancing the ORR performance and give future perspectives for their further development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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Open AccessReview Oxygen Reduction Reaction Catalyzed by Noble Metal Clusters
Catalysts 2018, 8(2), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8020065
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2723 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Highly-efficient catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have been extensively investigated for the development of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The state-of-the-art Pt/C catalysts suffer from high price, limited accessibility of Pt, sluggish reaction kinetics, as well as undesirable long-term durability.
[...] Read more.
Highly-efficient catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have been extensively investigated for the development of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The state-of-the-art Pt/C catalysts suffer from high price, limited accessibility of Pt, sluggish reaction kinetics, as well as undesirable long-term durability. Engineering ultra-small noble metal clusters with high surface-to-volume ratios and robust stabilities for ORR represents a new avenue. After a simple introduction regarding the significance of ORR and the recent development of noble metal clusters, the general ORR mechanism in both acidic and basic media is firstly discussed. Subsequently, we will summarize the recent efforts employing Pt, Au, Ag, Pd and Ru clusters, as well as the alloyed bi-metallic clusters for acquiring highly efficient catalysts to enhance both the activity and stability of ORR. Molecular noble metal clusters with definitive composition to reveal the relevant ORR mechanism will be particularly highlighted. Finally, the current challenges, the future outlook, as well as the perspectives in this booming field will be proposed, featuring the great opportunities and potentials to engineering noble metal clusters as highly-efficient and durable cathodic catalysts for fuel cell applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction)
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