Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Activity by Selective Anion Adsorption on Non-Precious-Metal Catalysts

Holst-Olesen, Kaspar; Reda, Mateusz; Hansen, Heine A.; Vegge, Tejs; Arenz, Matthias (2018). Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Activity by Selective Anion Adsorption on Non-Precious-Metal Catalysts. ACS Catalysis, 8(8), pp. 7104-7112. American Chemical Society 10.1021/acscatal.8b01584

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Non-precious-metal catalysts (NPMC) are promising alternatives to platinum-based catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), which is the cathode reaction in fuel cells. In this paper, we focus on an iron−nitrogen−carbon (Fe/N/C) catalyst, in comparison to platinum, and investigate how these different types of catalysts behave toward selective anion poisoning. The catalysts are studied with respect to their ORR activity, using the rotating disk electrode (RDE) technique in aqueous HClO4, H2SO4, H3PO4, and HCl electrolytes, and the results are supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. We find that the ORR on the Fe/N/C catalyst is less affected by anion poisoning than platinum. Surprisingly, it is seen that phosphoric acid not only does not poison the Fe/N/C catalyst, but instead promotes the ORR; this finding is in sharp contrast to the poisoning effect observed on platinum. This is a highly important finding, as modern high-temperature proton exchange fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) employ membranes consisting of phosphoric acid that is immobilized into a polybenzimidazole (PBI) matrix.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Arenz, Matthias


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Chemical Society




Matthias Arenz

Date Deposited:

18 Dec 2018 15:30

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2019 03:37

Publisher DOI:






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