An In-Depth Exploration of the Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) Phenomenon on Carbon-Based Catalysts in Alkaline and Acidic Mediums

Niladri Talukder, Yudong Wang, Bharath Babu Nunna, Eon Soo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Detailed studies of the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on catalyst materials are crucial to improving the performance of different electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems (e.g., fuel cells and batteries), as well as numerous chemical synthesis processes. In the effort to reduce the loading of expensive platinum group metal (PGM)-based catalysts for ORR in the electrochemical systems, many carbon-based catalysts have already shown promising results and numerous investigations on those catalysts are in progress. Most of these studies show the catalyst materials’ ORR performance as current density data obtained through the rotating disk electrode (RDE), rotating ring-disk electrode (RRDE) experiments taking cyclic voltammograms (CV) or linear sweep voltammograms (LSV) approaches. However, the provided descriptions or interpretations of those data curves are often ambiguous and recondite which can lead to an erroneous understanding of the ORR phenomenon in those specific systems and inaccurate characterization of the catalyst materials. In this paper, we presented a study of ORR on a newly developed carbon-based catalyst, the nitrogen-doped graphene/metal-organic framework (N-G/MOF), through RDE and RRDE experiments in both alkaline and acidic mediums, taking the LSV approach. The functions and crucial considerations for the different parts of the RDE/RRDE experiment such as the working electrode, reference electrode, counter electrode, electrolyte, and overall RDE/RRDE process are delineated which can serve as guidelines for the new researchers in this field. Experimentally obtained LSV curves’ shapes and their correlations with the possible ORR reaction pathways within the applied potential range are discussed in depth. We also demonstrated how the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a possible intermediate of ORR, in the alkaline electrolyte and the concentration of acid in the acidic electrolyte can maneuver the ORR current density output in compliance with the possible ORR pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number791
JournalCatalysts
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Keywords

  • cyclic voltammetry (CV)
  • linear sweep voltammetry (LSV)
  • metal-organic framework (MOF)
  • nitrogen-doped graphene (N-G) catalyst
  • oxygen reduction reaction (ORR)
  • rotating disk electrode (RDE)

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