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Issue 22, 2017, Issue in Progress
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Nitrogen-doped porous activated carbon derived from cocoon silk as a highly efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction

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Abstract

Heteroatom-doped porous carbon has attracted considerable research interest due to its effective catalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). In this study, nitrogen-doped porous activated carbon (PAC) is fabricated via a facile heat-treatment and chemical activation of cocoon silk in an inert gas atmosphere. The prepared PAC exhibits excellent ORR catalytic performances with the half-wave potential of −0.13 V and an onset potential of +0.03 V vs. Ag/AgCl, which match the Pt/C catalyst and are superior to various other reported biomass derived metal-free carbon catalysts. This catalytic proficiency is attributed to the plentiful electronegative N atoms within the carbon lattice, large surface area and high porosity. The PAC also exhibits high stability, durability and an effective tolerance effect to methanol crossover. In addition, the as-prepared PAC shows remarkable feasibility as a cathodic catalyst for microbial fuel cells (MFCs). This study provides a new approach for the synthesis of metal-free carbon nanomaterials derived from natural materials, and broadens the design for the fabrication of ORR catalysts.

Graphical abstract: Nitrogen-doped porous activated carbon derived from cocoon silk as a highly efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
11 Jan 2017
Accepted
14 Feb 2017
First published
28 Feb 2017

This article is Open Access

RSC Adv., 2017,7, 13383-13389
Article type
Paper

Nitrogen-doped porous activated carbon derived from cocoon silk as a highly efficient metal-free electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction

P. Fu, L. Zhou, L. Sun, B. Huang and Y. Yuan, RSC Adv., 2017, 7, 13383
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA00433H

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
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    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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