PGM-free catalysts with high volumetric activity, four-electron selectivity (i.e., low hydrogen peroxide yield), and long-term stability in highly acidic and strongly oxidizing environment of the fuel cell cathode are desired as replacements for PGM-based ORR catalysts. For this presentation, state-of-the-art PGM-free ORR catalysts, developed by our group [1, 2], which are obtained via high-temperature treatment of dual nitrogen precursors, cyanamide (CM) and polyaniline (PANI), different transition metal precursors (Fe, Co, Mn), and with or without carbon support are used as model PGM-free catalyst systems. Depending on the transition metal used, catalysts with different physical and electrochemical characteristic properties are obtained. Specifically, Fe-based catalysts are generally known for their high activity and low peroxide yield generation. However, Co- and Mn-based catalysts generate highly graphitic structures which could improve catalyst long-term stability. In this work, structure-activity-durability relationships are developed based on comprehensive physical, chemical, and electrochemical characterization of highly active (CM+PANI)-Me-C catalysts (Me = Fe, Co, Mn), correlating properties such as carbon structure, elemental speciation, and CO2 generation.
Financial support for this research by DOE-EERE through Fuel Cell Technologies Office is gratefully acknowledged.
 Chung, H.T., Holby, E.F., Purdy, G.M., Babu, S.K., Litster, S., Cullen, D.A. More, K.L., Zelenay, P. (2015). “Combining Nitrogen Precursors in Synthesis of Non-Precious Metal ORR Catalysts with Improved Fuel Cell Performance.” ECS Meeting Abstracts, MA2015-02 (37), 1278.
 Martinez, U., Holby, E.F., Dumont, J.H., Chung, H.T., Zelenay, P. (2016) “Non-PGM ORR Catalysts Based on Transition Metals Alternative to Iron.” ECS Meeting Abstracts, MA2016-01, 1719.