Engineered architecture of nitrogenous graphene encapsulating porous carbon with nano-channel reactors enhancing the PEM fuel cell performance

Xiaogang Fu, Fathy M. Hassan, Pouyan Zamani, Gaopeng Jiang, Drew C. Higgins, Ja Yeon Choi, Xiaolei Wang, Pan Xu, Yanru Liu, Zhongwei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nanoscale architecturing of platinum group metal-free (PGM-free) electrocatalysts is expected to dramatically improve the overall catalytic performance for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Desired structures and morphologies for boosting active site density and enhancing mass and charge transfer are essential for developing next-generation PGM-free electrocatalysts. Herein, we report the design of a M-N-C type catalyst consisting of 3-dimensional graphitic meso-porous carbon spheres wrapped with 2-dimensional graphenized sheets. This heterostructure comprises resultant large electroactive surface area, abundant pore channels, and tuned chemical structures, which provide improved electrocatalytic performance. Meanwhile, these pore structures can be regarded as nano-channel reactors to catalyze ORR with easily accessible active sites, effective mass transfer, and smooth charge transfer. The obtained catalyst delivers a high maximum power density of 0.83 W cm−2 in a single H2–O2 fuel cell measurement, ranking it as one of the most promising PGM-free catalysts in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Moreover, reasonable fuel cell stability was also observed through accelerated degradation testing. This work provides a new avenue for PGM-free catalysts design that can be a step towards practical commercial of PEMFCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
JournalNano Energy
Volume42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Catalyst
  • Fuel cells
  • In-situ graphene
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Porous carbon spheres

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Engineered architecture of nitrogenous graphene encapsulating porous carbon with nano-channel reactors enhancing the PEM fuel cell performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this