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Scalable and controllable synthesis of atomic metal electrocatalysts assisted by an egg-box in alginate

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Abstract

Herein, a general strategy is developed to synthesize atomic metal catalysts using sustainable and earth-abundant sodium alginate (Na-Alg), a common seaweed extract, as a precursor. The “egg-box” structure in Na-Alg after ion-exchange with metal cations (Zn2+, Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, etc.) is the key to achieve a scalable and controllable synthesis of highly dispersed atomic metals. For instance, atomic Co, Ni and Cu have been successfully synthesized using this method. As a representative, the as-synthesized atomically dispersed Co on reduced graphene oxide (A-Co/r-GO) can reach a maximum metal loading of 3.6 wt%, showing outstanding catalytic activity and stability for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with a half-wave potential (E1/2) of 0.842 V vs. RHE that is more positive than that of 20 wt% Pt/C (0.827 V vs. RHE) in alkaline solutions. The A-Co/r-GO catalyzed zinc-air batteries (ZABs) outperform Pt/C-based ZABs in the aspects of discharge voltage and specific zinc capacity, and can work robustly for more than 250 h with negligible voltage loss with refueling the Zn anode and KOH electrolyte periodically. This work opens up a new strategy for a general, practical and scalable synthesis of atomic metal catalysts at very low cost.

Graphical abstract: Scalable and controllable synthesis of atomic metal electrocatalysts assisted by an egg-box in alginate

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Aug 2018, accepted on 10 Sep 2018 and first published on 11 Sep 2018


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C8TA07469K
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article
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    Scalable and controllable synthesis of atomic metal electrocatalysts assisted by an egg-box in alginate

    L. Zhang, T. Liu, N. Chen, Y. Jia, R. Cai, W. Theis, X. Yang, Y. Xia, D. Yang and X. Yao, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8TA07469K

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