International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.4, 3163-3175, 2020
Fe and N co-doped carbon derived from melamine resin capsuled biomass as efficient oxygen reduction catalyst for air-cathode microbial fuel cells
Cathode oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance is crucial for power generation of microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The current study provides a novel strategy to prepare Fe/N-doped carbon (Fe/N/C) catalyst for MFCs cathode through high temperature pyrolyzing of biomass capsuling melamine resin polymer. The obtained Fe/N/C can effectively enhance activity, selectivity and stability toward 4 e(-) ORR in pH neutral solution. Single chamber MFC with Fe/N/C air cathode produces maximum power density of 1166 mW m(-2), which is 140% higher than AC cathode. The improved performance of Fe/N/C can be attributed to the involvement of nitrogen and iron species. The excellent stability can be attributed to the preferential structure of the catalyst. The moderate porosity of the catalyst facilitates mass transfer of oxygen and protons and prevents water flooding of triple-phase boundary where ORR occurs. The biomass particles encapsulated in the catalyst act as skeletons, which prevents catalyst collapse and agglomeration. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.