Co, N-Doped Carbon Nanomaterial As a High-Performance Catalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
R. Zierath, W. Li, and S. Zou (American University)
As one of the most promising clean energy conversion systems, fuel cells (FCs) have been demonstrated to be an efficient technology to resolve intercorrelated fossil fuel depletion and climate change issues. However, sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode side of the FCs cripples the overall device performance. Commercial Pt/C catalysts show good catalytic activity toward ORR, but their prohibitive price, limited supply and inferior stability hinder the application of FCs in a large scale. In this work, we used polyaniline modified Co-based metal organic framework (ZIF-67) as a precursor to obtain cobalt/nitrogen-doped carbon composite (Co/N-doped C) which shows outstanding ORR catalytic activity, long-term stability and high methanol poison resistance. Based on the results of control experiments, we propose that the impressive electrochemical performance originates from the nitrogen substituted carbon sites tuned by cobalt nanoparticles. Future work will be focused on further enhancing the performance of Co/N-doped C and dissecting the catalytic mechanisms.