Non-precious metal catalysts for electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction are synthesised by pyrolysis of multi-walled carbon nanotubes in the presence of nitrogen and iron precursors. For the physico-chemical characterisation of the catalysts transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction are used. The electrocatalytic activity of the catalysts for oxygen reduction is studied in 0.1 M KOH solution using the rotating disk electrode method. The Fe-containing nitrogen-doped carbon nanotubes exhibit an enhanced electrocatalytic performance as compared to metal-free counterparts and their electrocatalytic activity is comparable to that of commercial Pt/C catalyst. Alkaline direct methanol fuel cell tests also show performance close to Pt/C. Thus, these materials can be considered as promising cathode catalysts for application in alkaline fuel cells.
- Alkaline direct methanol fuel cell
- Carbon nanotubes
- Nitrogen doping
- Non-precious metal catalyst
- Oxygen reduction