Bimetallic platinum group metal-free catalysts for high power generating microbial fuel cells

Mounika Kodali, C. Santoro, Sergio Herrera, Alexey Serov, Plamen Atanassov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


M1-M2-N-C bimetallic catalysts with M1 as Fe and Co and M2 as Fe, Co, Ni and Mn were synthesized and investigated as cathode catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The catalysts were prepared by Sacrificial Support Method in which silica was the template and aminoantipyrine (AAPyr) was the organic precursor. The electro-catalytic properties of these catalysts were investigated by using rotating ring disk (RRDE) electrode setup in neutral electrolyte. Fe-Mn-AAPyr outperformed Fe-AAPyr that showed higher performances compared to Fe-Co-AAPyr and Fe-Ni-AAPyr in terms of half-wave potential. In parallel, Fe-Co-AAPyr, Co-Mn-AAPyr and Co-Ni-AAPyr outperformed Co-AAPyr. The presence of Co within the catalyst contributed to high peroxide production not desired for efficient ORR. The catalytic capability of the catalysts integrated in air-breathing cathode was also verified. It was found that Co- based catalysts showed an improvement in performance by the addition of second metal compared to simple Co- AAPyr. Fe-based bimetallic materials didn't show improvement compared to Fe-AAPyr with the exception of Fe-Mn-AAPyr catalyst that had the highest performance recorded in this study with maximum power density of 221.8 ± 6.6 mWcm2. Activated carbon (AC) was used as control and had the lowest performances in RRDE and achieved only 95.6 ± 5.8 mWcm2 when tested in MFC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Early online date11 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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