Recycling the Catalyst of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization to Prepare a Cu, N Codoped Mesoporous Carbon Electrocatalyst for Oxygen Reduction

Shuyi Li, Zhiyou Lei, Gang Yu, Qian Xu, Weijian Xu, Ruoxi Wu, M. Katherine Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Non-noble metal and nitrogen codoped carbon catalysts are considered as the alternative options for Pt-based materials for the cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) has been frequently adopted to synthesize functional polymers. However, the catalysts of ATRP could form a side product after the reaction, and the catalysts are difficult to separate from the products. In this article, a novel method to synthesize copper-nitrogen-carbon (Cu-N-C) by recycling the catalyst of ATRP is reported. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), obtained by ATRP, is used as a precursor of the carbon substrate. Cu-2,2′-dipyridyl (Cu-bpy), the catalyst of ATRP, is reserved as the Cu-N active site for the ORR. Owing to the reserved Cu-N source, Cu-N-C exhibits a greater ORR catalytic effect compared to N-C, with a 70 mV improvement of E1/2. Benefiting from the hard template of SiO2, Cu-N-C has a limiting current density of 5.3 mA cm-2. This finding offers a new strategy for the synthesis of ORR catalysts and also a new idea to recycle the ATRP catalyst, which is usually considered as a side product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12768-12774
Number of pages7
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume8
Issue number34
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 31 2020

Keywords

  • ATRP
  • electrocatalysis
  • heteroatom-doped carbon
  • oxygen reduction
  • polyacrylonitrile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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