Synthesis of FeCo-N@N-doped carbon oxygen reduction catalysts: via microwave-assisted ammoxidation

Hung Chih Kuo, Shou Heng Liu, Yan Gu Lin, Chao Lung Chiang, Daniel C.W. Tsang

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14 Citations (Scopus)


A core-shell structured FeCo-N@N-doped carbon derived from biomass waste (sugarcane and palm kernel shell) is facilely prepared by hydrothermal carbonization and NH3 microwave ammoxidation methods. The fabricated carbons are thoroughly characterized by a variety of analytical techniques. The electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), methanol resistance and durability are also tested in alkaline electrolyte. Compared to the carbons without ammoxidation treatments, FeCo-N@N-doped carbons, which contain FeCo-N in the core (evidenced by X-ray absorption spectroscopy) and highly porous carbon (verified by N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms) in the shell, exhibit superior ORR performance. Among the FeCo-N@N-doped carbons, the sugarcane-derived FeCo-N@N-doped carbon has better ORR activity than palm kernel shell-derived FeCo-N@N-doped carbon, which may be due to the more exposed active FeCo-N sites. Accordingly, the sugarcane-derived FeCo-N@N-doped carbon with a FeCo alloy ratio of 1 : 1 shows a comparable activity (onset potential 0.91 V vs. RHE), a better stability (through a four-electron pathway) and excellent methanol tolerance as compared to commercially available Pt/C catalysts. These biowaste-derived carbons with a unique core-shell structure synthesized via a simple microwave-assisted ammoxidation route can provide a promising electrode for oxygen reduction in fuel cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3949-3958
Number of pages10
JournalCatalysis Science and Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis


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