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Issue 3, 2019
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Effect of nanoparticle composition on oxygen reduction reaction activity of Fe/N–C catalysts: a comparative study

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Abstract

The Fe/N–C catalyst is a type of promising catalyst to replace costly Pt/C for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The Fe agglomerates in the Fe/N–C catalyst are capable of enhancing the ORR activity, but the effect of the agglomerate composition has not received prior investigation. In this paper, three Fe/N–C catalysts composed of different Fe-based nanoparticles including metal/oxide, carbide, and nitride on nitrogen-doped graphene sheets (denoted as Fe/Fe3O4@N-G, Fe3C@N-G and FexN@N-G, respectively) are synthesized and their oxygen reduction reaction activities are compared. Electrochemical evaluation reveals an order of Fe/Fe3O4@N-G > FexN@N-G > Fe3C@N-G in ORR activity, and the best Fe/Fe3O4@N-G catalyst is even superior to the commercial Pt/C catalyst. Detailed structure and composition analyses suggest that the excellent catalytic performance is tightly associated with the high N (particularly pyridinic-N) dopants and the chemical composition of metal agglomerates in the catalyst. Our work explores a highly active ORR electrocatalyst and also reveals the effect of agglomerate composition on the activity, which may provide valuable insights into the rational design and controllable synthesis of sustainable high-performance ORR electrocatalysts.

Graphical abstract: Effect of nanoparticle composition on oxygen reduction reaction activity of Fe/N–C catalysts: a comparative study

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Nov 2018, accepted on 19 Dec 2018 and first published on 20 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8CY02385A
Citation: Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019,9, 711-717

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    Effect of nanoparticle composition on oxygen reduction reaction activity of Fe/N–C catalysts: a comparative study

    X. Huang, X. Wu, Y. Niu, C. Dai, M. Xu and W. Hu, Catal. Sci. Technol., 2019, 9, 711
    DOI: 10.1039/C8CY02385A

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