A Better Catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

A Better Catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Author: Shaun Scally

The sluggish kinetics of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathodes of fuel cells significantly hampers fuel cell performance. Therefore, the development of high-performance, non-precious-metal catalysts as alternatives to platinum-based ORR electrocatalysts is highly desirable for the large-scale commercialization of fuel cells.

Jin-Gang Liu and colleagues, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China, have developed TiO2-grafted copper complexes deposited on multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which form stable and efficient electrocatalysts for the ORR. The optimized catalyst composite shows surprisingly high selectivity for the four-electron reduction of O2 to water (approximately 97 %) in alkaline solution, and demonstrates superior stability and excellent tolerance for the methanol crossover effect in comparison to a commercial Pt/C catalyst.

This facile approach to the assembly of copper catalysts on TiO2 with rationally tuned ORR activity could have significant implications for the development of high-performance, non-precious-metal ORR catalysts.


 

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