Nitrogen-Doped Graphene Foam As a Metal-Free Electrocatalyst
In alkaline media, the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) kinetics are much faster, and this means that non-PGM electrocatalysts can compete with Pt. Until recently, anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) were not considered to be able to compete with PEMFCs. However, recent advances in membrane technology have made them more viable.
Here, we show that even a completely metal-free nitrogen-doped carbon can have electrochemical ORR activity comparable to that of platinum. Moreover, we perform electrochemical load-cycle durability tests and show that even after 60,000 potential cycles negligible degradation is observed for this electrocatalyst system in alkaline. In contrast, the performance of Pt is much worse after the same test. In conclusion, non-precious nitrogen-doped graphene foam is a potential electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline anion exchange membrane fuel cells.