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Issue 32, 2016
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Binder-free nitrogen-doped graphene catalyst air-cathodes for microbial fuel cells

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Abstract

Air-cathodes are a critical component for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and need to have high catalytic performance for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). As an important two-dimensional material, graphene has been explored in various applications including ORR catalysts for MFCs. However, the reported graphene for MFC cathodes was usually small flakes/powders, which cannot be directly coated onto metal meshes without binders. Here, we report a binder-free nitrogen-doped graphene (NG) sheet in situ grown on nickel mesh as an efficient catalyst layer for MFC air-cathodes. By optimizing the growth parameters of NG, the maximum power density of MFCs based on NG can be boosted up to 1470 ± 80 mW m−2, which is 32% higher than that of the conventional Pt/C air-cathode. The optimized NG air-cathode has a low internal resistance (21 ± 3 Ω), only 20% of that of the Pt/C air-cathode. These results provide a proof-of-concept for the binder-free NG air-cathode as an alternative to the costly Pt cathode for MFCs.

Graphical abstract: Binder-free nitrogen-doped graphene catalyst air-cathodes for microbial fuel cells

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
01 May 2016
Accepted
14 Jun 2016
First published
15 Jun 2016

J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016,4, 12387-12391
Article type
Communication

Binder-free nitrogen-doped graphene catalyst air-cathodes for microbial fuel cells

Q. Wang, X. Zhang, R. Lv, X. Chen, B. Xue, P. Liang and X. Huang, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2016, 4, 12387
DOI: 10.1039/C6TA03642B

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