Special Issue "Electrocatalysts for Sustainable Energy and Chemical Synthesis Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Catalytic Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessandro Monteverde Videla
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
Interests: Sustainable processes; electrochemical processes; electrocatalyst; multiphysics modelling
Dr. Luigi Osmieri
Guest Editor
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM, USA
Interests: PGM-free catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction; electrocatalysis; polymer electrolyte fuel cells; electrochemistry for energy applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increase of global warming issues caused by greenhouse gases emissions related to low efficient conversion processes and chemical industry processes is becoming everyday more impactful on our lives and on the environment. To reduce these emissions, the use of renewable energy sources must become prominent in the near future. Over the past years, the cost of electricity generated from wind and solar has fallen 67% and 86%, respectively, and is now competitive to fossil fuel-based electricity generation technologies. This electric cost reduction opens a huge opportunity for the electrification of the chemical industry. In order to efficiently convert and store the energy from renewables, electrochemical processes are essentials. At the same time, the energy from renewables can be conveniently utilized to produce complex organic chemicals from biomass, CO2 and other simple molecules.

In this view, electrocatalysts plays a crucial role, since they enable the lowering of the overpotentials needed for the operation of electrochemical devices. 

At the same time, it is necessary to stay away, as much as possible, from the massive use of noble metals for the manufacturing of catalysts, due to their high cost and low earth-abundance, which could cause exaggerate cost rising and raw materials supply issues.

This Special Issue on “Electrocatalysts for Sustainable Energy and Chemical Synthesis Applications” welcomes the submission of manuscripts in the form of original research articles, short communications, and reviews. The topics include noble metal-free catalysts for all types of electrochemical reactions involved in energy conversion and storage devices (batteries, fuel cells, electrolyzers, etc.) and catalysts for electrochemical synthesis processes. Examples are electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction, oxygen evolution, hydrogen evolution, organic molecules oxidation, electrochemical hydrogenation, ammonia electrosynthesis and CO2 electroreduction reactions.

Insights on innovative catalysts synthesis strategies and materials characterization, as well as correlation between materials properties and electrocatalytic activity and catalysts durability are particularly welcome. Furthermore, the use of innovative techniques for electrode production able to control nanostructured properties are also kindly invited.

Dr. Alessandro Monteverde Videla
Dr. Luigi Osmieri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Fuel cells
  • Electrolysis
  • CO2 reduction
  • Electrosynthesis
  • Electrochemical hydrogenation
  • Nanostructured electrocatalysts
  • 3D electrodes
  • Renewable energy

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Facile Synthesis of the Amorphous Carbon Coated Fe-N-C Nanocatalyst with Efficient Activity for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Acidic and Alkaline Media
Materials 2020, 13(20), 4551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13204551 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1
With the assistance of surfactant, Fe nanoparticles are supported on g-C3N4 nanosheets by a simple one-step calcination strategy. Meanwhile, a layer of amorphous carbon is coated on the surface of Fe nanoparticles during calcination. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning [...] Read more.
With the assistance of surfactant, Fe nanoparticles are supported on g-C3N4 nanosheets by a simple one-step calcination strategy. Meanwhile, a layer of amorphous carbon is coated on the surface of Fe nanoparticles during calcination. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) were used to characterize the morphology, structure, and composition of the catalysts. By electrochemical evaluate methods, such as linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and cyclic voltammetry (CV), it can be found that Fe25-N-C-800 (calcinated in 800 °C, Fe loading content is 5.35 wt.%) exhibits excellent oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity and selectivity. In 0.1 M KOH (potassium hydroxide solution), compared with the 20 wt.% Pt/C, Fe25-N-C-800 performs larger onset potential (0.925 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE)) and half-wave potential (0.864 V vs. RHE) and limits current density (2.90 mA cm−2, at 400 rpm). In 0.1 M HClO4, it also exhibits comparable activity. Furthermore, the Fe25-N-C-800 displays more excellent stability and methanol tolerance than Pt/C. Therefore, due to convenience synthesis strategy and excellent catalytic activity, the Fe25-N-C-800 will adapt to a suitable candidate for non-noble metal ORR catalyst in fuel cells. Full article
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