Green algae and gelatine derived nitrogen rich carbon as an outstanding competitor to Pt loaded carbon catalysts

These results indicate that the N-GPC-T series exhibited a higher specific surface area and total pore volume compared to carbons in the N-GPC-GR-T series, obtained with graphene

Anna Ilnicka; Malgorzata Skorupska; Magdalena Tyc; Kinga Kowalska; Piotr Kamedulski; Wojciech Zielinski; Jerzy P. Lukaszewicz


Scholarcy highlights

  • The development of effective catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction is a significant challenge in energy conversion systems, e.g., Zn–air batteries
  • High-resolution transmission electron microscopy images reveal a majority of the pores that is spherical with a diameter of approximately 20 nm; these observations show geometry and size representative of the silica particles used as a template during synthesis
  • We have developed effective N-GPC and N-APC electrocatalysts by using cheap, natural materials like green algae and gelatine as precursors. These catalysts were produced by carbonizing nonporous precursors with a pore-forming agent in order to generate a hierarchical porous structure
  • The as-prepared, metal-free mesoporous carbons possessed a high density of N-containing active sites and a high specific surface area
  • The ORR performance that N-GPC-900 exhibited was high compared to the state-of-the-art
  • This efficiency is promoted by the simultaneous presence of pyrrolic-N and graphitic-N sites, the amount of the latter being especially important in determining ORR activity
  • The synthesis method presented here provides N-rich porous carbons that will be useful in applications such as catalysis, supercapacitors, fuel cells, and Zn–air batteries

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