Heat-Treated Transition Metal Hexacyanometallates with Trace Amount of Pt As Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction Based on Nitrogen Doped Graphene: Catalysts Development and Electrode Structure Design

Monday, 2 October 2017: 15:00
National Harbor 5 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
K. Miecznikowski (University of Warsaw), B. Dembinska (Department of Chemistry, University of Warsaw), S. Zoladek, I. A. Rutkowska (University of Warsaw), E. Negro (Department of Industrial Engineering University of Padua), P. J. Kulesza (University of Warsaw), and V. Di Noto (Dept. of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova)
In the recent research years is observed huge interest in design of new functional nanomaterials for developing new electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in acid and alkaline media. The research has been focused on developing carbon nanostructures especially graphene/graphene oxide materials with the different transition metals (e.g. Co, Ni, Ag, Au, Cu, Mn) analogue of polynuclear Prussian Blue, namely with ultra-thin Co, and Ni hexacyanoferrate layers and trace amount of platinum for fuel cell applications. Electrocatalysts based on graphene and graphene-oxide (GO) are more homogeneous and possess properties such as excellent conductivity, good chemical stability and can be functionalized in a controlled manner. Following the heat-treatment step at higher temperatures, some thermal decomposition of the cyanometallate network occurs and, consequently, metallic sites are generated. Their formation and distribution are facilitated by the voltammetric potential cycling in acid and alkaline electrolytes. The most promising electrocatalytic results with respect to the reduction of oxygen (the highest currents and the most positive electroreduction potentials) have been obtained when graphene nanostructures are combined with analogue of polynuclear Prussian Blue and trace amount of Pt nanoparticles. What is even more important that, due to the presence of the polynuclear cyanoferrate modifier or linker, the amounts of the undesirable hydrogen peroxide intermediate are significantly decreased. An electrocatalytic system, that utilizes metal hexacyanometallates nanoparticles with trace amount of Pt modified graphene and graphene related materials, is developed and characterized here using transmission electron microscopy and such electrochemical diagnostic techniques as cyclic volammetry and rotating ring-disk voltammetry in a 0.5 M H2SO4 electrolyte and in a 0.1 M KOH electrolyte and upon introduction (as cathode) to the low-temperature hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell. Comparative measurements have been performed against the model noble metal (Vulcan-supported platinum nanoparticles) catalyst.