Nitrogen doped mesoporous carbons are employed as supports for efficient electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction. Heteroatom doped carbons favour the adsorption and reduction of molecular oxygen on Pt sites. In the present work, nitrogen doped mesoporous carbons (NMCs) with variable nitrogen content were synthesized via colloidal silica assisted sol-gel process with Ludox-AS40 (40 wt% SiO2) as hard template using melamine and phenol as nitrogen and carbon precursors, respectively. The NMC were used as supports to prepare Pt/NMC electrocatalysts. The physicochemical properties of these materials were studied by SEM, TEM, XRD, BET, TGA, Raman, XPS and FTIR. The surface areas of 11 wt% (NMC-1) and 6 wt% (NMC-2) nitrogen doped mesoporous carbons are 609 m2 g−1 and 736 m2 g−1, respectively. The estimated electrochemical surface areas for Pt/NMC-1 and Pt/NMC-2 are 73 m2 g−1 and 59 m2 g−1, respectively. It is found that Pt/NMC-1 has higher ORR activity with higher limiting current and 44 mV positive onset potential shift compared to Pt/NMC-2. Further, the fuel cell assembled with Pt/NMC-1 as cathode catalyst delivered 1.8 times higher power density than Pt/NMC-2. It is proposed that higher nitrogen content and large pyridinic nitrogen sites present in NMC-1 support are responsible for higher ORR activity of Pt/NMC-1 and high power density of the fuel cell using Pt/NMC-1 cathode electrocatalyst. The carbon support material with high pyridinic content promotes the Pt dispersion with particle size less than 2 nm.
|Journal||Data powered by TypesetInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy|
|Publisher||Data powered by TypesetElsevier BV|