Skip to main content
N- and S-doped mesoporous carbon as metal-free cathode catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells
Ames Laboratory Accepted Manuscripts
  • Yang Qiu, Iowa State University
  • Jiajie Huo, Iowa State University
  • Fan Jia, Iowa State University
  • Brent H. Shanks, Iowa State University
  • Wenzhen Li, Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory
Publication Date
Journal Title
Journal of Materials Chemistry A
Nitrogen and sulfur were simultaneously doped into the framework of mesoporous CMK-3 as metal-free catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells. Glucose, NH3, and thiophene were used as carbon, nitrogen and sulfur precursors, respectively, to prepare mesoporous N-S-CMK-3 with uniform mesopores and extra macropores, resulting in good O2 diffusion both in half cell and alcohol fuel cell investigations. Among all investigated CMK-3 based catalysts, N-S-CMK-3 prepared at 800 °C exhibited the highest ORR activity with the onset potential of 0.92 V vs. RHE, Tafel slope of 68 mV dec−1, and 3.96 electron transfer number per oxygen molecule in 0.1 M KOH. The alkaline membrane-based direct alcohol fuel cell (DAFC) with N-S-CMK-3 cathode displayed 88.2 mW cm−2 peak power density without obvious O2 diffusion issue, reaching 84% initial performance of that with a Pt/C cathode. The high catalyst durability and fuel-crossover tolerance led to stable performance of the N-S-CMK-3 cathode DAFC with 90.6 mW cm−2 peak power density after 2 h operation, while the Pt/C cathode-based DAFC lost 36.9% of its peak power density. The high ORR activity of N-S-CMK-3 can be attributed to the synergistic effect between graphitic-N and S (C–S–C structure), suggesting great potential to use N-S-CMK-3 as an alternative to noble metal catalysts in the fuel cell cathode.
DOE Contract Number(s)
Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
Citation Information
Yang Qiu, Jiajie Huo, Fan Jia, Brent H. Shanks, et al.. "N- and S-doped mesoporous carbon as metal-free cathode catalysts for direct biorenewable alcohol fuel cells" Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 83 - 95
Available at: