Facile Conversion of Radish to Nitrogen-Doped Mesoporous Carbon as Effective Metal-Free Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts

Runwei Wang, Xu Jin, Ying Pan, Jianming Li, Ningning Guo, Runwei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


An activation step is essential for yielding nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon (NMCs) oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts from biomass. Though many solely KOH or ZnCl2 activated carbon materials have been synthesized with fine ORR activity, there a deep discussion of activated-carbon-based electrocatalysts obtained from different activation processes is still lacking. In this paper, we systemically compare radish-derived NMCs that underwent different activation processes, and reveal the relationship between structure and activity of these activated carbons. We showed that though ZnCl2 is not an effective porogen compared with KOH, owing to a more open pore structure along with effective preservation of nitrogen heteroatoms, ZnCl2 assisted activated carbon could show significantly improved ORR activity, with an onset potential of 0.91 V (vs. RHE), close to benchmark Pt/C catalysts and even better extended operation stability and stronger tolerance to methanol crossover compared with commercial Pt/C catalysts. Thus we proved that ZnCl2 assisted activation is better than exclusively self-activation or KOH assisted activation in preparing biomass-derived ORR catalysts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-963
Number of pages10
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 21 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-06-03
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): CRG-1-2012-LAI-009
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21390394, 21771082 and 21771081), National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB821700 and 2011CB808703), NSFC (21261130584 and 91022030), 111 project (B07016), Award Project of KAUST (CRG-1-2012-LAI-009) and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Development Center Project (20120061130012).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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