Highly active nitrogen-doped nanocarbon electrocatalysts for alkaline direct methanol fuel cell

Ivar Kruusenberg, Sander Ratso, Merilin Vikkisk, Petri Kanninen, Tanja Kallio, Arunachala Mada Kannan, Kaido Tammeveski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

(Graph Presented) Direct methanol fuel cells are assembled and evaluated using Fumatech FAA3 alkaline anion exchange membrane. Two novel metal-free cathode catalysts are synthesised, investigated and compared with the commercial Pt-based catalyst. In this work nitrogen-doped few-layer graphene/multi-walled carbon nanotube (N-FLG/MWCNT) composite and nitrogen-doped MWCNT (N-MWCNT) catalyst are prepared by pyrolysing the mixture of dicyandiamide (DCDA) and carbon nanomaterials at 800°C. The resulting cathode catalyst material shows a remarkable electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in 0.1 M KOH solution employing the rotating disk electrode (RDE) method. Fuel cell tests are performed by using 1 M methanol as anode and pure oxygen gas cathode feed. The maximum power density obtained with the N-FLG/MWCNT material (0.72 mW cm-2) is similar to that of the Pt/C catalyst (0.72 mW cm-2), whereas the N-MWCNT material shows higher peak power density (0.92 mW cm-2) than the commercial Pt/C catalyst.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-102
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Volume281
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

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Keywords

  • Alkaline fuel cell
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Few-layer graphene
  • Nitrogen doping
  • Non-platinum catalysts
  • Oxygen reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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