Scientists Propose Novel Bifunctional Catalysts on Biomass-Derived Carbon (Chemistry)

Environmentally friendly energy-conversion technologies, such as fuel cells and water-splitting systems, have attracted considerable attention. However, application of these electrochemical devices is hindered due to the high energy barrier of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).

Single-atom catalysts (SACs) are the most promising candidates for ORR and HER catalysis. However, most applicable chemicals or precursors for the synthesis of SACs support are generally costly, toxic, or synthesized by relatively complicated processes.

Recently, a research team led by Prof. LIANG Hanpu from Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology (QIBEBT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) put forward a feasible way to synthesize environmentally friendly, inexpensive, and efficient Fe/Pt single-atom bifunctional electrocatalysts (Fe1Pt1/NC).  

Fe/Pt bimetallic single atoms were anchored on N-doped carbon derived from renewable porphyra via internal nitrogen doping of porphyra followed by nitrogen anchoring of Pt4+ in aqueous solution.

The presence of uniformly dispersed active sites of Fe-N4 and Pt-N4 endowed the Fe/Pt single-atom electrocatalysts with enhanced bifunctional electrocatalytic performance.

Fe1Pt1/NC electrocatalysts exhibited considerably improved ORR and HER electrocatalytic activity in comparison with commercial Pt/C and most previously reported electrocatalysts.

This study sheds light on the design of highly active multifunctional single-atom electrocatalysts derived from renewable biomass for practical applications in the promising hydrogen economy.

The research was supported by the DICP and QIBEBT, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL), CAS and Research Innovation Fund, and Innovation Academy for Green Manufacture.

The related progresses were published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Featured image: Schematic illustration for the synthesis of Fe1Pt1/NC. (Image by CAO Lijuan)

Reference: Lijuan Cao, Xilong Wang, Chen Yang, Jiajia Lu, Xiaoyue Shi, Hongwei Zhu, and Han-Pu Liang, “Highly Active Fe/Pt Single-Atom Bifunctional Electrocatalysts on Biomass-Derived Carbon”, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2021, 9, 1, 189–196.

Provided by Chinese Academy of Sciences

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