JOURNAL ARTICLE

[Synthesis of Fe/nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanotube/Nanoparticle Composite and Its Catalytic Performance in Oxygen Reduction]

Ting-ting Yang, Neng-wu Zhu, Yu Lu, Ping-xiao Wu
Huan Jing Ke Xue= Huanjing Kexue 2016 January 15, 37 (1): 350-8
27078977
The cathode catalyst plays an important role in the electricity generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). In order to achieve the large-scale application of MFCs, cathode catalyst with low cost and high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) has great sense to substitute the precious catalyst of Pt/C. Here chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method was utilized accompanied with melamine as a nitrogen and carbon precursor, oxidized carbon powder (Black Pearls 2000 or Acetylene Black) as carbon precursor and iron acetate as an iron precursor so as to synthesize two kinds of Fe and nitrogen doped carbon nanotube/nanoparticle composites (FeNCB and FeNCC) as MFCs cathode catalysts. The cyclic voltammetry and rotating ring-disk electrode were applied to analyze the ORR activity discrepancies of FeNCB, FeNCC, and Pt/C (20%), which was confirmed by MFC operation. The results showed that the ORR performance of FeNCB was slightly better than Pt/C and dramatically better than FeNCC. Moreover, the catalysis of ORR by FeNCB was through a four-electron transfer pathway. Besides, the performance of MFC-FeNCB was higher than MFC-Pt/C and observably higher than MFC-FeNCC which was a contribute to promote the scale of MFC. MFC-FeNCB achieved the maximum power output density of 1212.8 mW x m(-2), an open circuit potential of 0.875 V, and a stabilized voltage of (0.500 +/- 0.025) V. Further analysis via X-ray diffraction, X ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Raman exhibited that the diameter of carbon nanotube, the types of N and Fe as well as the concentration of nitrogen, iron and oxygen was the reason for the discrepancies of ORR characteristics for the prepared catalysts.

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