Nanostructured electrocatalysts for microbial fuel cell air-cathodes were obtained via use of conductive carbon blacks for the synthesis of high performing 3D conductive networks. We used two commercially available nanocarbons, Black Pearls 2000 and multiwalled carbon nanotubes, as conductive scaffolds for the synthesis of nanocomposite electrodes by combining: a hydrothermally carbonized resin, a sacrificial polymeric template, a nitrogenated organic precursor and iron centers. The resulting materials are micro-mesoporous, possess high specific surface area and display N-sites (N/C of 3–5 at%) and Fe-centers (Fe/C < 1.5 at.%) at the carbon surface as evidenced from characterization methods. Voltammetry studies of oxygen reduction reaction activity were carried out at neutral pH, which is relevant to microbial fuel cell applications, and activity trends are discussed in light of catalyst morphology and composition. Tests of the electrocatalyst using microbial fuel cell devices indicate that optimization of the nanocarbon scaffold for the Pt-free carbon-based electrocatalysts results in maximum power densities that are 25% better than those of Pt/C cathodes, at a fraction of the materials costs. Therefore, the proposed Fe/N-carbon catalysts are promising and sustainable high-performance cathodic materials for microbial fuel cells.

Nanoscaffold effects on the performance of air-cathodes for microbial fuel cells : Sustainable Fe/N-carbon electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction under neutral pH conditions / A. Iannaci, S. Ingle, C. Dominguez, M. Longhi, O. Merdrignac-Conanec, S. Ababou-Girard, F. Barriere, P.E. Colavita. - In: BIOELECTROCHEMISTRY. - ISSN 1567-5394. - 142(2021 Aug 21), pp. 107937.1-107937.12. [10.1016/j.bioelechem.2021.107937]

Nanoscaffold effects on the performance of air-cathodes for microbial fuel cells : Sustainable Fe/N-carbon electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction under neutral pH conditions

M. Longhi;
2021

Abstract

Nanostructured electrocatalysts for microbial fuel cell air-cathodes were obtained via use of conductive carbon blacks for the synthesis of high performing 3D conductive networks. We used two commercially available nanocarbons, Black Pearls 2000 and multiwalled carbon nanotubes, as conductive scaffolds for the synthesis of nanocomposite electrodes by combining: a hydrothermally carbonized resin, a sacrificial polymeric template, a nitrogenated organic precursor and iron centers. The resulting materials are micro-mesoporous, possess high specific surface area and display N-sites (N/C of 3–5 at%) and Fe-centers (Fe/C < 1.5 at.%) at the carbon surface as evidenced from characterization methods. Voltammetry studies of oxygen reduction reaction activity were carried out at neutral pH, which is relevant to microbial fuel cell applications, and activity trends are discussed in light of catalyst morphology and composition. Tests of the electrocatalyst using microbial fuel cell devices indicate that optimization of the nanocarbon scaffold for the Pt-free carbon-based electrocatalysts results in maximum power densities that are 25% better than those of Pt/C cathodes, at a fraction of the materials costs. Therefore, the proposed Fe/N-carbon catalysts are promising and sustainable high-performance cathodic materials for microbial fuel cells.
Air cathode; Carbon; Electrocatalysis; Microbial fuel cells; Oxygen reduction reaction
Settore CHIM/02 - Chimica Fisica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/868457
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