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Journal of Electrochemistry ›› 2020, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (1): 130-135.  doi: 10.13208/j.electrochem.180923

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Effect of Nitrogen Content in Catalyst Precursor on Activity of FeN/C Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

YANG Zhi, SHEN Ya-yun, ZHOU E, WEI Cheng-ling, QIN Hao-li, TIAN Juan*()   

  1. Scchool of Chemistry and Materials Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550000, China
  • Received:2018-09-23 Revised:2019-02-16 Online:2020-02-28 Published:2018-11-22
  • Contact: TIAN Juan E-mail:juan_tian@126.com

Abstract:

Non-noble metal catalysts with high activity and low cost have attracted increasing interest as potential catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) to replace Pt-based catalysts. In this paper, the effect of nitrogen content in catalyst precursor on ORR activity of FeN/C catalyst was investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) surface area and pore size distribution measurements, transmission electron microscope (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and rotating disk electrode (RDE) techniques. The results show that the most active catalyst was obtained by pyrolysis in argon at 1050 °C with a catalyst precursor containing 20wt% 1,10-phenanthroline, 1wt% Fe and Black Pearl 2000. The particle size and distribution, BET surface area and pore size distribution, surface nitrogen content are key factors affecting the catalytic activity of catalyst. The difference in ORR activities may be explained by TGA data of catalyst precursors with different nitrogen contents, where the pyrolysis of catalyst precursor with phen/BP ratio of 20/80 resulted in weight loss of 28.1% at the temperature above 420 °C, which may generate most of the catalytic sites for ORR.

Key words: proton exchange membrane fuel cell, oxygen reduction reaction, FeN/C catalyst, activity, nitrogen content

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