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Multiscale porous Fe–N–C networks as highly efficient catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

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Abstract

Non-Pt catalysts with excellent performance regarding the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have aroused enormous interest in recent years. Herein, we propose a dual-template method to synthesize a multiscale porous Fe–N–C (FeNC) catalyst. SiO2 and Zn are used as co-templates to produce a multiscale porous structure. Chitosan and glutaraldehyde are used as building blocks to fabricate the frameworks of the hydrogel. After lyophilization and annealing treatments, FeNC aerogel with a multiscale porous structure could be obtained. The as-prepared FeNC catalyst annealed at 900 °C (FeNC-900) exhibits a larger electrochemically active surface area and an improved ORR activity compared to FeNC annealed at other temperatures. FeNC-900 shows a superior ORR performance in comparison with that of commercial Pt/C in terms of the onset potential and half-wave potential, i.e., 0.959 and 0.837 V, which are 28 mV and 10 mV higher than those of Pt/C, respectively. Multiscale porosity is responsible for the outstanding ORR performance of FeNC-900. The electron transfer number of FeNC-900 for the ORR was calculated to be 3.95, which is comparable with that of Pt/C. In addition, the FeNC-900 catalyst possesses an excellent long-term duration and anti-poisoning capacity against methanol crossover. All these results endow the FeNC catalyst with tremendous potential for use in fuel cells.

Graphical abstract: Multiscale porous Fe–N–C networks as highly efficient catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Jul 2019, accepted on 07 Sep 2019 and first published on 09 Sep 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9NR05726A
Nanoscale, 2019, Advance Article

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    Multiscale porous Fe–N–C networks as highly efficient catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction

    Y. Li, T. Liu, W. Yang, Z. Zhu, Y. Zhai, W. Gu and C. Zhu, Nanoscale, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9NR05726A

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