Energy, Vol.119, 1075-1083, 2017
Nitrogen and sulfur co-doped porous carbon - is an efficient electrocatalyst as platinum or a hoax for oxygen reduction reaction in acidic environment PEM fuel cell?
Non-precious, heteroatom doped carbon is reported to replace commercial Pt/C in both alkaline and acidic half-cell rotating disc electrode study; however the real world full cell measurements with the metal-free electrocatalysts overcoming the practical troubles in acidic environment proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) are almost negligible to confirm the claim. Nitrogen and sulfur co-doped porous carbon (DPC) was synthesized in a one step, high yield process from single source ionic liquid precursor using eutectic salt as porogens to achieve porosity. Structural characterization confirms 7.03% nitrogen and 1.68% sulfur doping into the high surface area, porous carbon structure. As the cathode oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst, metal-free DPC and Pt nanoparticles decorated DPC (Pt/DPC) shows stable and high exchange current density by four electron transfer pathway in acidic half cell liquid environment due to the synergistic effect of nitrogen and sulfur doping and porous nature of DPC. In an actual solid state full cell measurement, Pt/DPC shows higher performance comparable to commercial Pt/C; however DPC failed to reciprocate the half-cell performance due to blockage of active sites in the membrane electrode assembly fabrication process. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.