Novel multi walled carbon nanotube based nitrogen impregnated Co and Fe cathode catalysts for improved microbial fuel cell performance

K. K. Türk, I. Kruusenberg, E. Kibena-Põldsepp, G. D. Bhowmick, M. Kook, K. Tammeveski, L. Matisen, M. Merisalu, V. Sammelselg, M. M. Ghangrekar, A. Mitra, R. Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

For application in a microbial fuel cell (MFC), transition metal and nitrogen co-doped nanocarbon catalysts were synthesised by pyrolysis of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in the presence of iron- or cobalt chloride and nitrogen source. For the physicochemical characterisation of the catalysts, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used. The results obtained by rotating disk electrode (RDE) method showed an extraordinary electrocatalytic activity of these catalysts towards oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in neutral media, which was also confirmed by the MFC results. The Co-N-CNT and Fe-N-CNT cathode catalysts exhibited maximum power density of 5.1 W m−3 and 6 W m−3, respectively. Higher ORR activity and improved electric output in the MFC could be attributed to the formation of the active nitrogen-metal centers. All findings suggest that these materials can be used as potential cathode catalysts for ORR in MFC to replace expensive noble-metal based materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23027-23035
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume43
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Microbial fuel cell
  • Neutral medium
  • Nitrogen doping
  • Non-precious metal catalyst
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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