5 years ago

Heteroatom-Doped Carbon Materials for Electrocatalysis

Heteroatom-Doped Carbon Materials for Electrocatalysis
Xiaoxi Huang, Tewodros Asefa
Fuel cells, water electrolyzers, and metal-air batteries are important energy systems that have started to play some roles in our renewable energy landscapes. However, despite much research works carried out on them, they have not yet found large-scale applications, mainly due to the unavailability of sustainable catalysts that can catalyze the reactions employed in them. Currently, noble metal-based materials are the ones that are commonly used as catalysts in most commercial fuel cells, electrolyzers, and metal-air batteries. Hence, there has been considerable research efforts worldwide to find alternative noble metal-free and metal-free catalysts composed of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements for use in the catalytic reactions employed in these energy systems. In this concept paper, a brief introduction on catalysis in renewable energy systems, followed by the recent efforts to develop sustainable, heteroatom-doped carbon and non-noble metal-based electrocatalysts, the challenges to unravel their structure-catalytic activity relationships, and the authors’ perspectives on these topics and materials, are discussed. The lack of sustainable, inexpensive catalysts for renewable energy systems (fuel cells, water electrolyzers, metal-air batteries, etc.) has recently prompted an explosive research effort to find alternative catalysts. Herein, recent developments, challenges and the authors′ perspectives on the most critical and controversial issues involving metal-free and noble metal-free carbon-based electrocatalysts composed of earth abundant elements are discussed.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/chem.201700439

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