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Title: Synergistic Mn-Co catalyst outperforms Pt on high-rate oxygen reduction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Abstract

Alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells are a class of fuel cells that enable the use of non-precious metal catalysts, particularly for the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. While there have been alternative materials exhibiting Pt-comparable activity in alkaline solutions, to the best of our knowledge none have outperformed Pt in fuel-cell tests. Here we report a Mn-Co spinel cathode that can deliver greater power, at high current densities, than a Pt cathode. The power density of the cell employing the Mn-Co cathode reaches 1.1 W cm-2 at 2.5 A cm-2 at 60 °C. Moreover, this catalyst outperforms Pt at low humidity. In-depth characterization reveals that the remarkable performance originates from synergistic effects where the Mn sites bind O2 and the Co sites activate H2O, so as to facilitate the proton-coupled electron transfer processes. Such an electrocatalytic synergy is pivotal to the high-rate oxygen reduction, particularly under water depletion/low humidity conditions.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [3];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Wuhan Univ. (China)
  2. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
  3. National Taiwan Univ., Taipei (Taiwan)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Alkaline-Based Energy+B11:C29 Solutions (CABES); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)
OSTI Identifier:
1566612
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0019445
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; catalysis (heterogeneous); electrocatalysis; hydrogen and fuel cells; charge transport; membranes; water, materials and chemistry by design; synthesis (novel materials)

Citation Formats

Wang, Ying, Yang, Yao, Jia, Shuangfeng, Wang, Xiaoming, Lyu, Kangjie, Peng, Yanqiu, Zheng, He, Wei, Xing, Ren, Huan, Xiao, Li, Wang, Jianbo, Muller, David A., Abruña, Héctor D., Hwang, Bing Joe, Lu, Juntao, and Zhuang, Lin. Synergistic Mn-Co catalyst outperforms Pt on high-rate oxygen reduction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09503-4.
Wang, Ying, Yang, Yao, Jia, Shuangfeng, Wang, Xiaoming, Lyu, Kangjie, Peng, Yanqiu, Zheng, He, Wei, Xing, Ren, Huan, Xiao, Li, Wang, Jianbo, Muller, David A., Abruña, Héctor D., Hwang, Bing Joe, Lu, Juntao, & Zhuang, Lin. Synergistic Mn-Co catalyst outperforms Pt on high-rate oxygen reduction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells. United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09503-4.
Wang, Ying, Yang, Yao, Jia, Shuangfeng, Wang, Xiaoming, Lyu, Kangjie, Peng, Yanqiu, Zheng, He, Wei, Xing, Ren, Huan, Xiao, Li, Wang, Jianbo, Muller, David A., Abruña, Héctor D., Hwang, Bing Joe, Lu, Juntao, and Zhuang, Lin. Wed . "Synergistic Mn-Co catalyst outperforms Pt on high-rate oxygen reduction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells". United States. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09503-4. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1566612.
@article{osti_1566612,
title = {Synergistic Mn-Co catalyst outperforms Pt on high-rate oxygen reduction for alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells},
author = {Wang, Ying and Yang, Yao and Jia, Shuangfeng and Wang, Xiaoming and Lyu, Kangjie and Peng, Yanqiu and Zheng, He and Wei, Xing and Ren, Huan and Xiao, Li and Wang, Jianbo and Muller, David A. and Abruña, Héctor D. and Hwang, Bing Joe and Lu, Juntao and Zhuang, Lin},
abstractNote = {Alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells are a class of fuel cells that enable the use of non-precious metal catalysts, particularly for the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. While there have been alternative materials exhibiting Pt-comparable activity in alkaline solutions, to the best of our knowledge none have outperformed Pt in fuel-cell tests. Here we report a Mn-Co spinel cathode that can deliver greater power, at high current densities, than a Pt cathode. The power density of the cell employing the Mn-Co cathode reaches 1.1 W cm-2 at 2.5 A cm-2 at 60 °C. Moreover, this catalyst outperforms Pt at low humidity. In-depth characterization reveals that the remarkable performance originates from synergistic effects where the Mn sites bind O2 and the Co sites activate H2O, so as to facilitate the proton-coupled electron transfer processes. Such an electrocatalytic synergy is pivotal to the high-rate oxygen reduction, particularly under water depletion/low humidity conditions.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-019-09503-4},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {4}
}

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