Catalysis Today, Vol.357, 259-268, 2020
Fe/Co/Ni mixed oxide nanoparticles supported on oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction and the oxygen evolution reactions in alkaline media
Fabrication of efficient and cost-effective bifunctional oxygen electrocatalysts for both the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) remains a challenge for the development of rechargeable metal-air batteries and unitized regenerative fuel cells technologies. Herein, we report high-performance bifunctional ORR/OER electrocatalysts consisting of mixed transition metal (Fe, Co, Ni) oxide nanoparticles supported on oxidized multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). Investigation of the ORR and OER activity of samples with different metal compositions showed that trimetallic/MWCNT composites having Fe:Ni:Co = x:x:(1-2x) ratios, with 0.25 <= x <= 0.4, exhibit highest bifunctional activity in terms of the reversible ORR/OER overvoltage at a given current density. Moreover, the trimetallic catalysts exhibited improved selectivity with respect to the reduction of O-2 to OH- compared to the bimetallic Fe-Ni, Fe-Co and Co-Ni catalysts, thus revealing synergistic interactions among the metal oxide components. Correlation of the electrocatalytic activity with the structure of the composites is discussed for the most representative cases.