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Ionic Liquid-Modified Microporous ZnCoNC-Based Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

Wang, Min, Zhang, Huixin, Thirunavukkarasu, Gnanavel, Salam, Ihtasham, Varcoe, John R., Mardle, Peter, Li, Xiaoying, Mu, Shichun and Du, Shangfeng (2019) Ionic Liquid-Modified Microporous ZnCoNC-Based Electrocatalysts for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells ACS Energy Letters, 4 (9). pp. 2104-2110.

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Non-platinum group metal (non-PGM) oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts have been widely reported, but their application in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is challenging because of their poor performance in acidic environments. Here, [BMIM][NTf₂] ionic liquid (IL) modification of microporous ZnCoNC catalysts (derived from ZIF-ZnCo) is investigated to study their behavior in PEMFCs and to elucidate the catalytic mechanisms in practical operation. The high O₂ solubility of ILs enhances the utilization of active sites with porous ZnCoNC, and their hydrophobic nature facilitates the water transport during fuel cell operation. The half-cell measurement in aqueous HClO₄ shows that with the 20 wt % IL modification, the electron-transfer number increases from 2.58 to 3.88, approaching the desired 4-electron-transfer ORR. The power density obtained shows 140% improvement in single-cell PEMFC tests. The catalyst also yields an interesting performance in alkaline anion-exchange membrane fuel cells.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemistry
Authors :
Wang, Min
Zhang, Huixin
Thirunavukkarasu, Gnanavel
Salam, Ihtasham
Varcoe, John
Mardle, Peter
Li, Xiaoying
Mu, Shichun
Du, Shangfeng
Date : 8 August 2019
Funders : European Union's Horizon 2020, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
DOI : 10.1021/acsenergylett.9b01407
Grant Title : Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2019 American Chemical Society
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 22 Aug 2019 12:46
Last Modified : 15 Nov 2019 15:10

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