Biomass-Derived Porous Carbon As Noble-Metal Free Catalysts for Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Prince George's Exhibit Hall D/E (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
C. Culhane, X. Liu, and S. Zou (American University)
Efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) play a critical role in the performance of fuel cells. In this work, biomass-derived porous carbon was prepared by a facile procedure based on simple pyrolysis of spinach at controlled temperatures (700 – 900 °C) and different activation agents. The obtained porous carbon exhibited high specific surface area and porosity. Electrochemical measurements showed that the porous carbons possessed a high electrocatalytic activity for ORR in alkaline media. The ORR onset potential for the catalyst is +0.96 V vs. RHE. Moreover, it showed excellent long-term stability, and methanol tolerance, as compared to the commercial Pt/C. The catalytic performance of porous carbon obtained by various activation agent will be compared. The results suggest a very promising route towards the development of value-added carbon materials for effective cathode catalysts for alkaline fuel cells.