An advanced and efficient Co3O4/C nanocomposite for the oxygen evolution reaction in alkaline media†
The design of efficient nonprecious catalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) or the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a necessary, but very challenging task to uplift the water-based economy. In this study, we developed a facile approach to produce porous carbon from the dehydration of sucrose and use it for the preparation of nanocomposites with cobalt oxide (Co3O4). The nanocomposites were studied by the powder X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy techniques, and they exhibited the cubic phase of cobalt oxide and porous structure of carbon. The nanocomposites showed significant OER activity in alkaline media, and the current densities of 10 and 20 mA cm−2 could be obtained at 1.49 and 1.51 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), respectively. The impedance study confirms favorable OER activity on the surface of the prepared nanocomposites. The nanocomposite is cost-effective and can be capitalized in various energy storage technologies.