Authors: Wang, YL; Larsen, MJ; Rojas, S; Sougrati, MT; Jaouen, F; Ferrer, P; Gianolio, D; Berthon-Fabry, S
J. Power Sources. vol: 514. page: 0378-7753.
Date: DEC 1. 2021.
Fe-N-C aerogel catalysts were prepared by sol-gel polycondensation of resorcinol, melamine and formaldehyde precursors in the presence of FeCl3 salt, followed by supercritical drying and thermal treatments. The effect of the mass ratio of precursors on the microstructure, iron speciation and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) performance of the Fe-N-C aerogels was investigated by N-2 sorption, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Mossbauer spectroscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, CO chemisorption and rotating disk electrode in acidic medium. The best ORR performance (activity and mass transport) was obtained by an optimum balance between pore structure and active Fe-Nx species. Through acid washing, the durability of the catalyst was further improved by eliminating unstable and inactive species, particularly iron nanoparticles and iron carbide. From the CO chemisorption and turnover-frequency value, the surface sites were comparable with the highest values reported in literature. Finally, Fe-N-C aerogel catalyst was implemented a in membrane-electrode assembly with an active area of 25 cm(2) and tested in single cell, emphasizing the importance of the ink formulation on the performance..