Synthesis and Characterization of Cu-MOF Derived Cu@AC Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction Reaction in PEMFC

  • Syed Aun M. Rizvi
  • Naseem IqbalEmail author
  • Muhammad Daarain Haider
  • Tayyaba Noor
  • Rehan Anwar
  • Saadia Hanif


In this study, biomass derived activated carbon (AC) was utilized to enhance the electrochemical properties of copper benzene-1, 3, 5-tricarboxylate metal organic framework (Cu-BTC MOF). Dried leaves (Lantana) were activated with phosphoric acid (H3PO4) for preparation of AC. Cu-MOF was pyrolyzed with different ratios of AC (1:1) under a reduction atmosphere of mixture of argon and hydrogen gases (90:10) in a tube furnace. These freshly produced composite materials were examined by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and thermal gravimetric analysis. The synthesized catalysts were tested for its electro catalytic activity for oxidation reduction reaction (ORR) in three electrode system by cyclic voltammetry, Tafel polarization and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The electrochemical parameters calculated by film coated glassy carbon electrode exhibit impact of activated carbon on oxidation reduction reaction catalyzed by Cu-BTC MOF. The composite Cu@AC (1:1) reported the highest current density of 2.11 mA cm−2 at 0.9 V potential with a scan rate of 50 mV s−1 in 0.1 M KOH which is better than commercial grade Pt/C having highest current density of 1.37 mA cm−2 at 0.86 V potential. The electrochemical activity and intensified constancy is due to synergistic influence of MOF and AC-composite.

Graphic Abstract


Activated carbon Cu@AC Cu-MOF Electrocatalyst Metal organic framework (MOF) Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) 



This work is supported by U.S.-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E) at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Syed Aun M. Rizvi
    • 1
  • Naseem Iqbal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Muhammad Daarain Haider
    • 1
  • Tayyaba Noor
    • 2
  • Rehan Anwar
    • 1
  • Saadia Hanif
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S.-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy (USPCAS-E)National University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.School of Chemical and Materials Engineering (SCME)National University of Sciences and TechnologyIslamabadPakistan

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