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Synergistic Coupling of a Molybdenum Carbide Nanosphere with Pt Nanoparticles for Enhanced Ammonia Electro-Oxidation Activity in Alkaline Media

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Maryam Bayati, Emeritus Professor Keith Scott



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by American Chemical Society, 2020.

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© 2019 American Chemical Society.Ammonia will play a pivotal role in the future of zero carbon emitted sustainable fuel. The development of inexpensive efficient catalysts for ammonia electro-oxidation (AEO) is essential to its success. This study provides evidence that nanoparticles of earth-abundant elements, e.g., MoC, encapsulated in a doped-graphene shell (DG-MoC), are promising cocatalysts of Pt for AEO which significantly improve the catalyst cost and activity in comparison to the state-of-the-art platinum. DG-MoC, DG-MoC-supported Pt (Pt/DG-MoC), and nitrogen-doped-graphene (NG) catalysts were synthesized and characterized by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area analysis, electrochemical techniques, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) combined with energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), and electron energy loss (EEL) spectroscopy. The XRD analysis of DG-MoC disclosed that the presence of α-MoC1-x microscopy techniques demonstrates a close vicinity of Pt and MoC nanoparticles in Pt/DG-MoC. We report, for the first time, that Pt/DG-MoC particles reveal a large synergistic effect for AEO activity, while DG-MoC and NG showed no activity. Pt/DG-MoC gave a higher current density, lower half-A nd peak-potentials (28 mV and 14 mV, respectively), and greater resilience to ammonia poisoning than Pt/C as shown in the fall in the peak current density in the second voltammogram, i.e, approximately 3.6% compared to 20.7% for Pt/C. The XPS spectrum of the catalysts explained the source of this synergistic effect.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bayati M, Liu X, Abellan P, Pocock D, Dixon M, Scott K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: ACS Applied Energy Materials

Year: 2020

Volume: 3

Issue: 15

Pages: 846-851

Print publication date: 27/01/2020

Online publication date: 11/12/2019

Acceptance date: 11/12/2019

Date deposited: 24/02/2020

ISSN (print): 2574-0962

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/acsaem.9b01979


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