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Type: Journal article
Title: Green synthesis of three-dimensional hybrid N-doped ORR electro-catalysts derived from apricot sap
Author: Karunagaran, R.
Coghlan, C.
Shearer, C.
Tran, D.
Gulati, K.
Tung, T.
Doonan, C.
Losic, D.
Citation: Materials, 2018; 11(2):205-1-205-1616
Publisher: MDPI
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1996-1944
Statement of
Ramesh Karunagaran, Campbell Coghlan, Cameron Shearer, Diana Tran, Karan Gulati, Tran Thanh Tung, Christian Doonan, and Dusan Losic
Abstract: Rapid depletion of fossil fuel and increased energy demand has initiated a need for an alternative energy source to cater for the growing energy demand. Fuel cells are an enabling technology for the conversion of sustainable energy carriers (e.g., renewable hydrogen or bio-gas) into electrical power and heat. However, the hazardous raw materials and complicated experimental procedures used to produce electro-catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in fuel cells has been a concern for the effective implementation of these catalysts. Therefore, environmentally friendly and low-cost oxygen reduction electro-catalysts synthesised from natural products are considered as an attractive alternative to currently used synthetic materials involving hazardous chemicals and waste. Herein, we describe a unique integrated oxygen reduction three-dimensional composite catalyst containing both nitrogen-doped carbon fibers (N-CF) and carbon microspheres (N-CMS) synthesised from apricot sap from an apricot tree. The synthesis was carried out via three-step process, including apricot sap resin preparation, hydrothermal treatment, and pyrolysis with a nitrogen precursor. The nitrogen-doped electro-catalysts synthesised were characterised by SEM, TEM, XRD, Raman, and BET techniques followed by electro-chemical testing for ORR catalysis activity. The obtained catalyst material shows high catalytic activity for ORR in the basic medium by facilitating the reaction via a four-electron transfer mechanism.
Keywords: Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR); catalysis; carbon nanotubes; carbo microsphere; N–doped carbon
Rights: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/ma11020205
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