N-doped mesoporous carbon nanosheets obtained by pyrolysis of a chitosan–melamine mixture for the oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline media

Marek Lieder, Milena Jablonska, Maria K. Rybarczyk
  • RSC Advances, January 2015, Royal Society of Chemistry
  • DOI: 10.1039/c5ra05725f

What is it about?

The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is very important in order to develop unconventional energy sources such as fuel cells (e.g., enzymatic biofuel cells, microbial fuel cells). Up to now, platinum (Pt)-based materials are the most common catalysts for direct ORR. Understanding the mechanisms which slow down the ORR is very important in order to develop heteroatoms catalysts based on carbon made from biomass-derived materials. Here, we present a simple thermal decomposition of low-cost precursors (chitosan, melamine) in an inert atmosphere leading to the nitrogen-doped porous carbonaceous materials.

Why is it important?

Our results show that besides the total nitrogen content and the type of nitrogen group (pyridinic or graphitic), also the amount of carbon ‘kinks’ and/or surface roughness strongly influence the ORR activity.

The following have contributed to this page: Mrs Maria Krystyna Rybarczyk