Nanostructured carbon from biomass as a catalyst for energy conversion devices
Kemian tekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering
77 + 5
AbstractThe growth in demand for CO2 free energy sources stimulates the development of more metal-air batteries (MABs) and sustainable catalyst alternatives from renewable or waste resources. In this project some abattoir wastes were applied to obtain porous carbon-based bifunctional electrocatalysts for the MABs. The porous carbon structure obtained from bones were functionalised with transition metals to improve electrocatalyst activities toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), occurring in rechargeable MAB cathodes. The obtained electrocatalysts provide a more economical and sustainable alternative for commercially used catalysts proceeding from platinum on carbon black (Pt-C). Catalysts synthesised from bone decorated with transition metals (Fe, Co) could demonstrate eminent ORR and OER activity. Specifically, ORR attained a 4 electron-transfer similar to Pt-C with more positive onset potential (0.92 vs 0.82, NHE). For the OER, better performance was observed with an onset potential of 0.38 V (NHE) compared to 1.48 V (NHE). Researching the production of catalyst form animal waste resulted in the following discoveries: (1) the surface morphology of the catalyst does not show an effect neither on ORR nor on OER; (2) transitional metals improve electrocatalytic activity synergistically; (3) secondary pyrolysis positively affects the catalyst performance.
Thesis advisorBorghei, Maryam
porous carbon, biomass conversion, bifunctional electrocatalyst, ORR and OER, transition metals, nitrogen-doped carbon