3 years ago

Gas-Flow Tailoring Fabrication of Graphene-like Co–Nx–C Nanosheet Supported Sub-10 nm PtCo Nanoalloys as Synergistic Catalyst for Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells

Gas-Flow Tailoring Fabrication of Graphene-like Co–Nx–C Nanosheet Supported Sub-10 nm PtCo Nanoalloys as Synergistic Catalyst for Air-Cathode Microbial Fuel Cells
Jiliang Ci, Chun Cao, Qiran Zhai, Gang Wang, Weiwei Li, Jianquan Shen, Liling Wei
In this work, we presented a novel, facile, and template-free strategy for fabricating graphene-like N-doped carbon as oxygen reduction catalyst in sustainable microbial fuel cells (MFCs) by using an ion-inducing and spontaneous gas-flow tailoring effect from a unique nitrogen-rich polymer gel precursor which has not been reported in materials science. Remarkably, by introduction of trace platinum- and cobalt- precursor in polymer gel, highly dispersed sub-10 nm PtCo nanoalloys can be in situ grown and anchored on graphene-like carbon. The as-prepared catalysts were investigated by a series of physical characterizations, electrochemical measurements, and microbial fuel cell tests. Interestingly, even with a low Pt content (5.13 wt %), the most active Co/N codoped carbon supported PtCo nanoalloys (Co–N–C/Pt) exhibited dramatically improved catalytic activity toward oxygen reduction reaction coupled with superior output power density (1008 ± 43 mW m–2) in MFCs, which was 29.40% higher than the state of the art Pt/C (20 wt %). Notability, the distinct catalytic activity of Co–N–C/Pt was attributed to the highly efficient synergistic catalytic effect of Co–Nx–C and PtCo nanoalloys. Therefore, Co–N–C/Pt should be a promising oxygen reduction catalyst for application in MFCs. Further, the novel strategy for graphene-like carbon also can be widely used in many other energy conversion and storage devices.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.7b04564

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b04564

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