Enhancement Effect of Fe-Co-Ni/BC Nanoparticles for Membraneless Fuel Cells

V. Selvarani1, S. Kiruthika2, V. Sudha1, A. Gayathri1 and B. Muthukumaran1,*

1Department of Chemistry, Presidency College (Autonomous), University of Madras, Chennai-600 005, India

2Department of Chemical Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Chennai-603 203, India

*Corresponding author: Fax: +91 44 28510732; Tel: +91 44 28544894; E-mail: dr.muthukumaran@yahoo.com


Biocarbon (BC) supported iron–cobalt–nickel (Fe–Co–Ni/BC) nanoalloy catalysts were synthesized by ultrasonic-assisted chemical reduction method. The morphological and physico-chemical characteristics show that the 1:1:1 composition of Fe–Co–Ni/BC catalyst has the Fe face-centered cubic (fcc) solid-solution structure showing the incorporation of Co and Ni. The electrocatalytic execution of this iron-based nanoalloy catalyst and its interaction with biocarbon was explored in a membraneless fuel cell and compared with carbon supported Fe–Co–Ni catalyst (Fe–Co–Ni/C). In a single-cell test, the power density obtained for Fe–Co–Ni/BC (35.4 mW/cm2) was better than that of Fe–Co–Ni/C (31.3 mW/cm2), utilizing 0.1 mol/L sodium perborate as oxidant and 1 mol/L ethylene glycol as fuel in an alkaline medium. The electrochemical findings revealed that the execution and solidness of the Fe–Co–Ni/BC catalyst is good and prevalent to that of Fe–Co–Ni/C catalyst. The better execution of BC-supported catalyst is due to its high electrical conductivity, high porosity and expansive surface area. It is been concluded that both the advantageous impact and the nature of support have an imperative part on the execution of Fe–Co–Ni/BC nanoalloy catalysts for the CO2-free ethylene glycol oxidation. Subsequently, it is accepted that the BC-supported Fe–Co–Ni nanoalloy catalysts are anticipated to be broadly utilized in electrocatalytic energy-conversion applications.


Membraneless fuel cell, Perborate, Ethylene glycol, Biocarbon, Nanoalloy.

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