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Issue 9, 2011
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Comparative study of plasma-treated non-precious catalysts for oxygen and hydrogen peroxide reduction reactions

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Abstract

The performance of plasma-treated non-precious catalysts is discussed in the light of their application for oxygen and hydrogen peroxide reduction reactions. Six different Fe and Co porphyrins and phthalocyanines were used as precursors. The precursors were mixed with a carbon support and treated with an Ar-, N2- and Ar : O2-radio frequency (RF) plasma to obtain carbon supported Fe–N/C or Co–N/C catalysts. Additionally, the effect of plasma pretreatment of the catalyst's support was studied. The electrochemical properties of these catalysts were evaluated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and rotating disc electrode (RDE) techniques (ORR) and for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) reduction reaction. The difference in activity of the porphyrin-based catalyst treated by plasma and the Pt catalyst was less for H2O2 reduction reaction than for ORR. Selected samples were also tested in a HCOOH/H2O2 proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The maximum power of the HCOOH/H2O2 fuel cell with plasma treated catalyst was 1.4-fold higher than that of the fuel cell with noble metal based catalysts (Pt/C). The catalysts were also characterized in terms of their morphology, structure and composition by atomic force microscopy (AFM), attenuated total reflection infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A correlation was found between the activity and concentration of nitrogen on the surface of the catalysts. The AFM investigations revealed morphological changes which accompanied the transformation of the catalyst precursor into the catalytic material.

Graphical abstract: Comparative study of plasma-treated non-precious catalysts for oxygen and hydrogen peroxide reduction reactions

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Feb 2011, accepted on 03 May 2011 and first published on 08 Jun 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01163D
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2011,4, 3461-3472
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    Comparative study of plasma-treated non-precious catalysts for oxygen and hydrogen peroxide reduction reactions

    N. A. Savastenko, K. Anklam, A. Quade, M. Brüser, A. Schmuhl and V. Brüser, Energy Environ. Sci., 2011, 4, 3461
    DOI: 10.1039/C1EE01163D

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