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Nitrogen and phosphorus modification to enhance the catalytic activity of biomass-derived carbon toward the oxygen reduction reaction

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Abstract

As the crucial cathode reaction of fuel cells and metal–air batteries, the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) has always required a catalyst to improve the electrochemical reaction rate. In this article, taking Fructus azedarach as the raw material, a nitrogen–phosphorus double-doped carbon nanosheet material was synthesized through microwave-assisted hydrothermal treatment and high temperature calcination. The synthesized amorphous NPDC possessed multi-level pores and abundant edge defects. With an N : P ratio of 1.09, doped N and P achieved the best electronic synergistic effect and thus caused surrounding carbon to show high catalytic activity towards the ORR with a half-wave potential of 0.84 V, onset potential of 0.94 V and limiting current density value of 6.01 mA cm−2 in alkaline media. The NPDC-1.09 also exhibited superior stability (drop of 11% at 0.8 V after 22 h) and methanol tolerance (3.2% decline) compared to 20% Pt/C. When used in zinc–air batteries, its promising application in the field of energy storage and conversion is demonstrated by its 84 h long-term cycling stability (with a current density of 10 mA cm−2). The discovery of such an N and P dual-doped carbon structure with a substantial synergistic effect is of great significance for promoting the replacement of platinum-based catalysts with carbon-based materials.

Graphical abstract: Nitrogen and phosphorus modification to enhance the catalytic activity of biomass-derived carbon toward the oxygen reduction reaction

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Oct 2019
Accepted
28 Nov 2019
First published
28 Nov 2019

Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Nitrogen and phosphorus modification to enhance the catalytic activity of biomass-derived carbon toward the oxygen reduction reaction

L. Han, X. Cui, Y. Liu, G. Han, X. Wu, C. (. Xu and B. Li, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9SE00985J

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