Wednesday, November 11, 2015: 3:15 PM
355C (Salt Palace Convention Center)
The development of high-performance and low-cost bifunctional oxygen catalysts that can be easily integrated into fuel cell devices is important to energy storage systems that utilize O2-H2O chemistries such as regenerative fuel cells and metal-air batteries. Here, we report a low cost nitrogen-doped hierarchical carbon (NHC) synthesized using a soft template approach for facile device integration. The NHC catalyst exhibits excellent performance for both the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) as demonstrated by electrochemical studies. The activities observed for both the ORR and the OER are comparable to that achieved by state-of-the-art Pt and Ir in an alkaline environment, but at much lower costs. This work demonstrates the potential of NHC to replace commercial precious metals in regenerative fuel cells and possibly metal-air batteries for cost-effective storage of intermittent renewable energy.