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Title: Progress in the Development of Fe-Based PGM-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Abstract

Development of alternative energy sources is crucial to tackle challenges encountered by the growing global energy demand. Hydrogen fuel, a promising way to store energy produced from renewable power sources, can be converted into electrical energy at high efficiency via direct electrochemical conversion in fuel cells, releasing water as the sole byproduct. One important drawback to current fuel-cell technology is the high content of platinum-group-metal (PGM) electrocatalysts required to perform the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Addressing this challenge, remarkable progress has been made in the development of low-cost PGM-free electrocatalysts synthesized from inexpensive, earth-abundant, and easily sourced materials such as iron, nitrogen, and carbon (Fe–N–C). PGM-free Fe–N–C electrocatalysts now exhibit ORR activities approaching that of PGM electrocatalysts but at a fraction of the cost, promising to significantly reduce overall fuel-cell technology costs. Here in this paper, recent developments in PGM-free electrocatalysis, demonstrating increased fuel-cell performance, as well as efforts aimed at understanding the key limiting factor, i.e., the nature of the PGM-free active site, are summarized. Further improvements will be accomplished through the controlled and/or rationally designed synthesis of materials with higher active-site densities, while at the same time establishing methods to mitigate catalyst degradation.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). Fuel Cell Technologies Program (EE-3F); USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1499359
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1495531
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-29583
Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 31; Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Energy Sciences; fuel cells; nonprecious metal electrocatalysts; oxygen reduction reaction (ORR); platinum‐group‐metal‐free (PGM‐free) electrocatalysts

Citation Formats

Martinez, Ulises, Komini Babu, Siddharth, Holby, Edward F., Yin, Xi, and Zelenay, Piotr. Progress in the Development of Fe-Based PGM-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1002/adma.201806545.
Martinez, Ulises, Komini Babu, Siddharth, Holby, Edward F., Yin, Xi, & Zelenay, Piotr. Progress in the Development of Fe-Based PGM-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction. United States. doi:10.1002/adma.201806545.
Martinez, Ulises, Komini Babu, Siddharth, Holby, Edward F., Yin, Xi, and Zelenay, Piotr. Thu . "Progress in the Development of Fe-Based PGM-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction". United States. doi:10.1002/adma.201806545. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499359.
@article{osti_1499359,
title = {Progress in the Development of Fe-Based PGM-Free Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction},
author = {Martinez, Ulises and Komini Babu, Siddharth and Holby, Edward F. and Yin, Xi and Zelenay, Piotr},
abstractNote = {Development of alternative energy sources is crucial to tackle challenges encountered by the growing global energy demand. Hydrogen fuel, a promising way to store energy produced from renewable power sources, can be converted into electrical energy at high efficiency via direct electrochemical conversion in fuel cells, releasing water as the sole byproduct. One important drawback to current fuel-cell technology is the high content of platinum-group-metal (PGM) electrocatalysts required to perform the sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Addressing this challenge, remarkable progress has been made in the development of low-cost PGM-free electrocatalysts synthesized from inexpensive, earth-abundant, and easily sourced materials such as iron, nitrogen, and carbon (Fe–N–C). PGM-free Fe–N–C electrocatalysts now exhibit ORR activities approaching that of PGM electrocatalysts but at a fraction of the cost, promising to significantly reduce overall fuel-cell technology costs. Here in this paper, recent developments in PGM-free electrocatalysis, demonstrating increased fuel-cell performance, as well as efforts aimed at understanding the key limiting factor, i.e., the nature of the PGM-free active site, are summarized. Further improvements will be accomplished through the controlled and/or rationally designed synthesis of materials with higher active-site densities, while at the same time establishing methods to mitigate catalyst degradation.},
doi = {10.1002/adma.201806545},
journal = {Advanced Materials},
issn = {0935-9648},
number = 31,
volume = 31,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

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A comprehensive review on PEM water electrolysis
journal, April 2013

  • Carmo, Marcelo; Fritz, David L.; Mergel, Jürgen
  • International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 38, Issue 12, p. 4901-4934
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Active sites of nitrogen-doped carbon materials for oxygen reduction reaction clarified using model catalysts
journal, January 2016


Engineering nanostructures of PGM-free oxygen-reduction catalysts using metal-organic frameworks
journal, January 2017


A density functional theory study of oxygen reduction reaction on non-PGM Fe–Nx–C electrocatalysts
journal, January 2014

  • Kattel, Shyam; Atanassov, Plamen; Kiefer, Boris
  • Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Vol. 16, Issue 27
  • DOI: 10.1039/c4cp01634c

New insights into non-precious metal catalyst layer designs for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Improving performance and stability
journal, March 2017


Design criteria for stable Pt/C fuel cell catalysts
journal, January 2014

  • Meier, Josef C.; Galeano, Carolina; Katsounaros, Ioannis
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