Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2011, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 2251-2254.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20111015

• COMMUNICATION • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Electrocatalytic Activity of CoPy/C Catalyst for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Alkaline Electrolyte

XU Li1, QIAO Jin-Li1, DING Lei1, HU Long-Yu1, LIU Ling-Ling1, WANG Hai-Jiang2   

  1. 1. College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, P. R. China;
    2. Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council Canada, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1W5, Canada
  • Received:2011-07-11 Revised:2011-08-05 Published:2011-09-27
  • Contact: QIAO Jin-Li
  • Supported by:

    The project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21173039), Pujiang Foundation of Shanghai, China (08PJ14096), Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai Science and Technology Committee, China (09ZR1433300), Opening Foundation of Zhejing Provincial Top Key Discipline, China (20110927), Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, Ministry of Education of China (2009(1001)), and Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project Fund, China (B604).

Abstract: In this communication, we report a novel CoPy/C catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline electrolyte using cobalt sulfate heptahydrate (CoSO4·7H2O) and pyridine (Py) as the Co and N precursors supported on Vulcan XC-72R, followed by heat treatment in an inert atmosphere. Electrochemical performances were evaluated using cyclic voltammograms (CVs) and rotating disk electrode (RDE) technique in terms of its ORR activity as a function of Co content in the catalyst synthesis. Results show that the presence of Co in the CoPy/C catalyst greatly affects the formation of ORR catalytic active sites and that the best performing catalyst is 10%Co%30Py/C, which was synthesized at 800°C. In 3.0 mol·L-1 KOH, 10%Co30%Py/C (in O2) produces an obvious ORR current with an on-set potential at 0.014 V. Compared with the 40% Py/C the on-set potential of the 10% Co30% Py/C for oxygen reduction shifted positively by 71 mV (versus RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode)) and a well-defined limiting current plateau was achieved. Therefore, a maximum current density of 1.0 mA·cm-2 was obtained at -0.16 V with a half-wave potential of -0.07 V. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) measurements show that the nanoparticles with a diameter of 20 nm are uniformly dispersed on Vulcan carbon (Vulcan XC-72R).

Key words: Alkaline fuel cell, CoPy/C, Heat treatment, Oxygen reduction reaction, Cyclic voltammogram, Rotating disk electrode


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