International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.42, No.15, 10407-10415, 2017
Electrospun Co-TiC nanoparticles embedded on carbon nanofibers: Active and chemically stable counter electrode for methanol fuel cells and dye-sensitized solar cells
Cobalt-titanium carbide nanoparticles (Co-TiC NPs) embedded on carbon nanofibers (composite) were prepared by electrospinning of a solution containing cobalt acetate tetrahydrate (CoAc), titanium (IV) isopropoxide (TIIP) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) in acetic acid and ethanol. It was then subjected to a carbonation process at a low temperature (850 degrees C) since the composite contains metal carbide. The obtained composite, as an efficient electrode, was used as an alternative to Pt-free counter electrode (CE) for fuel cells (FCs) and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and chronoamperatory (CA) tests were used to measure the composite electrode's performance in methanol oxidation. The results showed that the introduced composite could enhance both methanol electro-oxidation and electrochemical stability as the low onset potential and high current density of the composite electrode were obtained at 189 mV and similar to 90 mA cm(-2) vs. Ag/AgCl, respectively. The composite also was examined in dye-sensitized solar cells as counter electrode (CE). The results showed that the composite electrode was effective, providing stable electrocatalytic activity (ECA) and conductivity, indicating the composite can improve catalytic activity in triiodide reduction. The short-circuit current density (J(sc)), open circuit voltage (V-oc), fill factor (FF), and energy conversion efficiency (eta) were found to be similar to 9.98 mA cm(-2), 0.758 V, 0.507 and 3.87%, respectively. The high ECA could be attributed to the synergic effects from all the pristine components. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.