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Nitrogen-doped graphene/CoNi alloy encased within bamboo-like carbon nanotube hybrids as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells

Articles

Revue/Conférence:

JOURNAL OF POWER SOURCES

Language:

English

Auteur:

Hou Yang; Yuan Heyang; Wen Zhenhai; Cui Shumao; Guo Xiaoru; He Zhen

Experts:

Chen Junhong

Année:

2016

Volume:

307

Pages:

561-568

Mots-clés:

Graphene; Bamboo-like carbon nanotube; Defect structures; Oxygen reduction reaction; Microbial fuel cells

Cost-effective catalysts are of key importance to the successful deployment of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for electricity generation from organic wastes. Herein, a novel catalyst prepared by one-step synthesis strategy is reported. The catalyst features N-doped bamboo-like carbon nanotube (BCNT) in which CoNi-alloy is encapsulated at the end and/or the middle section of the tube with many graphene layers inside inner cavities of BCNT (N-G@CoNi/BCNT). The prepared N-G@CoNi/BCNT exhibits a high oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) activity with an early onset potential of 0.06 V vs. Ag/AgCl and a comparable exchange current density to that of commercial Pt/C. The excellent catalytic activity is further evidenced by a high electron transfer number of 3.63. When being applied in MFCs, the N-G@CoNi/BCNT yields an average current density of 6.7 A m(-2), slightly lower than that of Pt/C but with a less mass transfer potential loss. The cost of the N-G@CoNi/BCNT for constructing a 1-m(2) cathode electrode is 200 times lower than that of Pt/C. With such a competitive price and excellent electrocatalytic-activity resulting from its unique morphology, CoNi-alloy/nitrogen dopants, considerable specific surface area, and carbon-coated alloy/graphene hybridization, the present catalyst is a promising candidate for ORR catalysts in MFCs for energy recovery from wastes. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.