One-step ball milling-prepared nano Fe2O3 and nitrogen-doped graphene with high oxygen reduction activity and its application in microbial fuel cells
- 8 Downloads
Developing high activity, low-cost and long durability catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction is of great significance for the practical application of microbial fuel cells. The full exposure of active sites in catalysts can enhance catalytic activity dramatically. Here, novel Fe-N-doped graphene is successfully synthesized via a one-step in situ ball milling method. Pristine graphite, ball milling graphene, N-doped graphene and Fe-N-doped graphene are applied in air cathodes, and enhanced performance is observed in microbial fuel cells with graphene-based catalysts. Particularly, Fe-N-doped graphene achieves the highest oxygen reduction reaction activity, with a maximum power density of 1380±20 mW/m2 in microbial fuel cells and a current density of 23.8 A/m2 at −0.16 V in electrochemical tests, which are comparable to commercial Pt and 390% and 640% of those of pristine graphite. An investigation of the material characteristics reveals that the superior performance of Fe-N-doped graphene results from the full exposure of Fe2O3 nanoparticles, pyrrolic N, pyridinic N and excellent Fe-N-G active sites on the graphene matrix. This work not only suggests the strategy of maximally exposing active sites to optimize the potential of catalysts but also provides promising catalysts for the use of microbial fuel cells in sustainable energy generation.
KeywordsMicrobial fuel cells Air cathodes Nano Fe2O3 and nitrogen-doped graphene Oxygen reduction reaction
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51778326) and the special fund of Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program. We thank Prof. Rufan Zhang at Tsinghua University for valuable comments and suggestions.
- Choi C H, Choi W S, Kasian O, Mechler A K, Sougrati M T, Brüller S, Strickland K, Jia Q, Mukerjee S, Mayrhofer K J J, Jaouen F (2017). Unraveling the nature of sites active toward hydrogen peroxide reduction in Fe-N-C catalysts. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 56(30): 8809–8812CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- He D, Xiong Y, Yang J, Chen X, Deng Z, Pan M, Li Y, Mu S (2017). Nanocarbon-intercalated and Fe-N-codoped graphene as a highly active noble-metal-free bifunctional electrocatalyst for oxygen reduction and evolution. Journal of Materials Chemistry. A, Materials for Energy and Sustainability, 5(5): 1930–1934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Li Q, Chen W, Xiao H, Gong Y, Li Z, Zheng L, Zheng X, Yan W, Cheong W C, Shen R, Fu N, Gu L, Zhuang Z, Chen C, Wang D, Peng Q, Li J, Li Y (2018). Fe isolated single atoms on S, N codoped carbon by copolymer pyrolysis strategy for highly efficient oxygen reduction reaction. Advanced materials, 30(25): 1800588CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Oh W D, Lisak G, Webster R D, Liang Y N, Veksha A, Giannis A, Moo G S, Lim J W, Lim T T (2018). Insights into the thermolytic transformation of lignocellulosic biomass waste to redox-active carbocatalyst: Durability of surface active sites. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 233: 120–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wang Q, Lei Y, Chen Z, Wu N, Wang Y, Wang B, Wang Y (2018). Fe/Fe3C@C nanoparticles encapsulated in N-doped graphene-CNTs framework as an efficient bifunctional oxygen electrocatalyst for robust rechargeable Zn-air batteries. Journal of Materials Chemistry. A, Materials for Energy and Sustainability, 6(2): 516–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Xiao M, Zhu J, Ma L, Jin Z, Ge J, Deng X, Hou Y, He Q, Li J, Jia Q, Mukerjee S, Yang R, Jiang Z, Su D, Liu C, Xing W (2018). Microporous framework induced synthesis of single-atom dispersed Fe-N-C acidic ORR catalyst and its in situ reduced Fe-N4 active site identification revealed by X-ray absorption Spectroscopy. ACS Catalysis, 8(4): 2824–2832CrossRefGoogle Scholar