Impact of transition metal on nitrogen retention and activity of iron-nitrogen-carbon oxygen reduction catalysts

Selvarani Ganesan, Nathaniel Leonard, Scott Calabrese Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Iron based nitrogen doped carbon (FeNC) catalysts are synthesized by high-pressure pyrolysis of carbon and melamine with varying amounts of iron acetate in a closed, constant-volume reactor. The optimum nominal amount of Fe (1.2 wt%) in FeNC catalysts is established through oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) polarization. Since the quantity of iron used in FeNCs is very small, the amount of Fe retained in FeNC catalysts after leaching is determined by UV-VIS spectroscopy. As nitrogen is considered to be a component of active sites, the amount of bulk and surface nitrogen retention in FeNC catalysts are measured using elemental analysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, respectively. It is found that increasing nominal Fe content in FeNC catalysts leads to a decreased level of nitrogen retention. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrates that increasing nominal Fe content leads to increased weight loss during pyrolysis, particularly at high temperatures. Catalysts are also prepared in the absence of iron source, and with iron removed by washing with hot aqua regia post-pyrolysis. FeNC catalysts prepared with no Fe show high retained nitrogen content but poor ORR activity, and aqua regia washed catalysts demonstrate similar activity to Fe-free catalysts, indicating that Fe is an active site component.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages4576-4585
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Volume16
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2014

Profile

Transition metals
Nitrogen
Carbon
Iron
transition metals
Oxygen
iron
nitrogen
catalysts
Catalysts
carbon
oxygen
pyrolysis
Pyrolysis
melamine
washing
leaching
Ultraviolet spectroscopy
Washing
Leaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Impact of transition metal on nitrogen retention and activity of iron-nitrogen-carbon oxygen reduction catalysts. / Ganesan, Selvarani; Leonard, Nathaniel; Barton, Scott Calabrese.

In: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol. 16, No. 10, 14.03.2014, p. 4576-4585.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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