Oxygen electroreduction on multi-walled carbon nanotube supported metal phthalocyanines and porphyrins in alkaline media

Ivar Kruusenberg, Leonard Matisen, Kaido Tammeveski
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2013, 13 (1): 621-7
Metal phthalocyanine and porphyrin modified electrodes were prepared using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) as a support material. The catalyst materials were heat-treated before electrochemical testing. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic study was carried out in order to examine the surface composition. The electroreduction of oxygen has been investigated on Fe phthalocyanine/MWCNT, Co phthalocyanine/MWCNT, Fe porphyrin/MWCNT and Co porphyrin/MWCNT catalysts. Electrochemical experiments were carried out in 0.1 M KOH employing the rotating disk electrode (RDE) method. The glassy carbon (GC) disk electrodes were modified with MN4 macrocycle/MWCNT catalysts using Tokuyama AS-4 ionomer. Electrochemical characterization of the materials showed that all the MN4 macrocycle/MWCNT modified GC electrodes are highly active for the reduction of oxygen in alkaline solutions. Particularly high electrocatalytic activity was observed for porphyrin-based electrodes heat-treated at 800 degrees C. The RDE results obtained are significant for the development of alkaline membrane fuel cells.

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