skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on December 7, 2018

Title: Hydrothermal Synthesis of Platinum-Group-Metal-Free Catalysts: Structural Elucidation and Oxygen Reduction Catalysis

In this paper, a hydrothermal approach to generate a platinum-group-metal-free (PGM-free) Fe-N-C catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is introduced. The process involves partial carbonization by hydrothermal means followed by thermal treatment to obtain the final catalysts. Detailed X-ray scattering analysis of the glucose-imidazole catalysts (termed as GLU-IMID-C catalysts), obtained for the first time with the use of CarbonXS GUI program, reveals the presence of face-centered cubic (FCC) iron nanoparticles embedded in partially graphitic carbon in all catalyst variations. We also report the physical characterization of these catalysts by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis, and transmission electron microscopy. The electrocatalytic behavior of the catalysts towards oxygen reduction is studied separately in acidic and alkaline electrolytes by rotating ring disk electrode measurements. The catalysts exhibit high ORR activity in acidic (0.5 M H 2SO 4) and alkaline (0.1 M KOH) electrolytes. Lastly, a precursor structure-performance relationship of these catalysts and their performance trends in both electrolytes has been discussed in this work.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Center for Micro-Engineered Materials (CMEM)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2196-0216; 656151; TRN: US1800257
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: ChemElectroChem; Journal ID: ISSN 2196-0216
ChemPubSoc Europe
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Hydrothermal synthesis; imidazole; FCC iron nanoparticles; graphitic lattices; oxygen reduction reaction
OSTI Identifier: