Advanced Biomass-Derived Electrocatalysts for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction

Maryam Borghei*, Janika Lehtonen, Liang Liu, Orlando J. Rojas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

302 Citations (Scopus)


Recent progress in advanced nanostructures synthesized from biomass resources for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is reviewed. The ORR plays a significant role in the performance of numerous energy-conversion devices, including low-temperature hydrogen and alcohol fuel cells, microbial fuel cells, as well as metal-air batteries. The viability of such fuel cells is strongly related to the cost of the electrodes, especially the cathodic ORR electrocatalyst. Hence, inexpensive and abundant plant and animal biomass have become attractive options to obtain electrocatalysts upon conversion into active carbon. Bioresource selection and processing criteria are discussed in light of their influence on the physicochemical properties of the ORR nanostructures. The resulting electrocatalytic activity and durability are introduced and compared to those from conventional Pt/C-based electrocatalysts. These ORR catalysts are also active for oxygen or hydrogen evolution reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1703691
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Biomass
  • Electrocatalyst
  • Nitrogen-doped
  • Oxygen reduction reaction
  • Porous carbon


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