Novel Chemical Synthesis of Fe–N–C Electrocatalysts by the Prepolymer of Melamine Formaldehyde Resin for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

  • Linjuan Cao
  • Wei YangEmail author
  • Hanbo Zou
  • Shengzhou ChenEmail author
  • Zili Liu


Direct methanol fuel cell is emerging as a promising technology for portable power, which has to surmount the hindrance of high cost caused by the use of platinum and platinum-based catalysts to become commercially viable. In this paper, novel Fe–N–C electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) were prepared from the high nitrogen content prepolymer of melamine formaldehyde resin and Iron (II) acetate by carbonization in inert atmosphere. The catalytic activity for ORR and the methanol tolerance of Fe–N–C were detected by the rotating disk electrode and single cell test. For a direct methanol fuel cell system, the maximum output power density reached 38.47 mW cm−2 at 70 °C. We found the ORR activity of the catalyst changed with the pyrolysis temperature. The onset potentials for oxygen reduction almost were 0.5 V (vs. SCE). The catalyst prepared under 700 °C was found to have the highest activity. The ORR were characterized by X-ray diffractometry, which indicating that the activity change was attributed to the active FexN generation and decomposition.


Fe–N–C electrocatalysts Melamine formaldehyde resin Methanol tolerance Direct methanol fuel cell 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21776051), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong (Grant No. 2018A030313423), and the Science and Technology Project of Guangzhou (Grant No. 201802020029).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Guangzhou Key Laboratory for New Energy and Green CatalysisGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina

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