A Pt-free electrocatalyst based on pyrolized vinazene-carbon composite for oxygen reduction reaction

Akeem Akinpelu, Belabbes Merzougui, Saheed Bukola, Abdul Majeed Azad, Rafil A. Basheer, Greg M. Swain, Qiaowan Chang, Minhua Shao

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The 2-vinyl-4, 5-dicyanoimidazole (Vinazene) was used as a nitrogen precursor to synthesize a promising non-precious metal (NPM) catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Vinazene together with an iron source was impregnated into a carbon matrix and pyrolyzed at 900 °C in N2 atmosphere. The structure of the resulting Fe-N-C nanocomposite was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Both rotating disk electrode (RDE) and rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) experiments showed excellent ORR activity for the obtained catalyst with low H2O2 formation (∼3.0%) in 0.1 M KOH. The catalyst was found to be rich in mesoporous structure along with high percentage of pyrrolic-N function with surface area of about 673 m2 g-1 and pore size of 4.2 nm. In addition to its excellent ORR activity, the catalyst showed remarkable tolerance towards methanol oxidation and demonstrates good stability over 10,000 potential cycles (0.6-1.0 V Vs RHE). We believe that this N-rich Vinazene molecule will be beneficial to further development of nitrogen doped carbon electrocatalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2015



  • Fuel cells
  • Methanol tolerance
  • Non-precious metal electrocatalysts
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Vinazene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrochemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

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