Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production

A special issue of Catalysts (ISSN 2073-4344). This special issue belongs to the section "Electrocatalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 November 2021) | Viewed by 52594

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Department of Environmental Science, School of Science, Institute of Technology Sligo, Ash Lane, F91 YW50 Sligo, Ireland
Interests: photocatalysis; electrocatalysis; antimicrobial polymers; CO2 conversion; self-cleaning coatings
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Department of Chemistry, College of Natural Sciences, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea
Interests: nanomaterials; energy; environmental; catalysis; chemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the impact of global warming has been realized in various aspects, such as life-threatening diseases, forest fires, weather pattern fluctuations, and water scarcity. Non-fossil-fuel energy sectors are highly demanded for the health and wealth of future generations. Electrocatalysis is one of the most attractive technologies to develop a sustainable infrastructure with clean energy. The effectiveness of electrochemical technologies such as fuel cell, battery, and supercapacitors is superior compared to other, intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Several avenues have been explored to improve the stability and activity of electrode materials. Recently, two/three-dimensional (2D/3D) materials, metal–organic frameworks (MOF), carbonaceous materials, core–shell nanoparticles, bioelectrodes, and molecular catalysts have been widely investigated for their excellent electrocatalytic property. Moreover, a lot of theoretical studies have also been executed to design the electrode materials with required surface features by density functional theory (DFT) calculations and molecular dynamics. The commercialization of various electrocatalytic technologies has also been focused on to address future energy demands.

We are pleased to invite submissions in the form of original research articles, short communications, and mini reviews that reflect the theoretical/experimental aspects of novel electrode materials for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion, and other energy storage applications.

This Special Issue is not limited to the abovementioned topics but also welcomes manuscripts on theoretical insights, latest achievements, challenges, and future opportunities of novel electrode materials for energy production/storage. 

Dr. Vignesh Kumaravel
Prof. Dr. Misook Kang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Catalysts is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Oxygen evolution/reduction
  • Electrocatalysis
  • CO2 conversion
  • Energy storage
  • Fuel cells
  • 2D/3D materials
  • Density functional theory

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 7650 KiB  
Article
Synthetic and Post-Synthetic Strategies to Improve Photoluminescence Quantum Yields in Perovskite Quantum Dots
by ChaeHyun Lee, Soo Jeong Lee, YeJi Shin, Yeonsu Woo, Sung-Hwan Han, Andrés Fabián Gualdrón-Reyes, Iván Mora-Seró and Seog Joon Yoon
Catalysts 2021, 11(8), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11080957 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Making high-quality raw materials is the key to open the versatile potential of next generation materials. All-inorganic CsPbX3 (X: Cl, Br, and/or I) perovskite quantum dots (PQDs) have been applied in various optoelectronic devices, such as [...] Read more.
Making high-quality raw materials is the key to open the versatile potential of next generation materials. All-inorganic CsPbX3 (X: Cl, Br, and/or I) perovskite quantum dots (PQDs) have been applied in various optoelectronic devices, such as photocatalysis, hydrogen evolution, solar cells, and light-emitting diodes, due to their outstanding photophysical properties, such as high photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY), absorption cross-section, efficient charge separation, and so on. Specifically, for further improvement of the PLQY of the PQDs, it is essential to diminish the non-radiative charge recombination processes. In this work, we approached two ways to control the non-radiative charge recombination processes through synthetic and post-synthetic processes. Firstly, we proposed how refinement of the conventional recrystallization process for PbI2 contributes to higher PLQY of the PQDs. Secondly, after halide exchange from CsPbI3 PQDs to CsPbBr3, through an in situ spectroelectrochemical setup, we monitored the positive correlation between bromide deposition of on the surface of the perovskite and photoluminescence improvement of the CsPbBr3 perovskite film through electrodeposition. These two strategies could provide a way to enhance the photophysical properties of the perovskites for application to various perovskite-based optoelectronic devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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14 pages, 15503 KiB  
Article
Synthesis of Hollow Mesoporous TiN Nanostructures as An Efficient Catalyst Support for Methanol Electro-Oxidation
by Yoon-Hee Kim, Hyeonkyeong Lee, Dong-Seop Choi, Jiyull Kim, Hyun-Sung Jang, Na-Yeon Kim and Ji-Bong Joo
Catalysts 2021, 11(7), 763; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11070763 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2486
Abstract
The development of efficient catalyst materials that can drive high catalytic performance is challenging. Here, we report a well-defined hollow mesoporous TiN nanostructure for use as Pt catalyst support material for methanol electro-oxidation. The hollow TiN nanostructure was synthesized by the ammonia nitridation [...] Read more.
The development of efficient catalyst materials that can drive high catalytic performance is challenging. Here, we report a well-defined hollow mesoporous TiN nanostructure for use as Pt catalyst support material for methanol electro-oxidation. The hollow TiN nanostructure was synthesized by the ammonia nitridation of pre-synthesized mother hollow anatase TiO2, which was prepared by SiO2 template-assisted sol–gel synthesis followed by chemical etching, acid treatment, and sequential calcination. The variation in the ammonia nitridation temperature allowed the crystalline properties of the samples to be finely tuned. As the ammonia nitrification temperature increased, the crystallinity of the resulting hollow TiN continuously increased, and the corresponding Pt catalysts showed enhanced activity toward methanol electro-oxidation. The hollow TiN-800 sample (H-TiN-800), with a well-developed pure TiN phase, exhibited the highest electrical conductivity and the lowest resistance. The corresponding Pt/H-TiN-800 catalyst exhibited significantly enhanced catalytic activity. In this study, we systemically analyzed the physicochemical characteristics and electrochemical performance of hollow TiN samples and their corresponding Pt catalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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9 pages, 3545 KiB  
Article
Surface Modification of Electrocatalyst for Optimal Adsorption of Reactants in Oxygen Evolution Reaction
by Hong Soo Kim, Hwapyong Kim, Monica Claire Flores, Gyu-Seok Jung and Su-Il In
Catalysts 2021, 11(6), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11060717 - 9 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1916
Abstract
Technological development after the industrial revolution has improved the quality of human life, but global energy consumption continues to increase due to population growth and the development of fossil fuels. Therefore, numerous studies have been conducted to develop sustainable long-term and renewable alternative [...] Read more.
Technological development after the industrial revolution has improved the quality of human life, but global energy consumption continues to increase due to population growth and the development of fossil fuels. Therefore, numerous studies have been conducted to develop sustainable long-term and renewable alternative energy sources. The anodic electrode, which is one of the two-electrode system components, is an essential element for effective energy production. In general, precious metal-based electrocatalysts show high OER reactions from the anodic electrode, but it is difficult to scale up due to their low abundance and high cost. To overcome these problems, transition metal-based anodic electrodes, which exhibit advantages with respect to their low cost and high catalytic activities, are in the spotlight nowadays. Among them, stainless steel is a material with a high ratio of transition metal components, i.e., Fe, Ni, and Cr, and has excellent corrosion resistance and low cost. However, stainless steel shows low electrochemical performance due to its slow sluggish kinetics and lack of active sites. In this study, we fabricated surface modified electrodes by two methods: (i) anodization and (ii) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) immersion treatments. As a result of comparing the two methods, the change of the electrode surface and the electrochemical properties were not confirmed in the H2O2 immersion method. On the other hand, the porous electrode (PE) fabricated through electrochemical anodization shows a low charge transfer resistance (Rct) and high OER activity due to its large surface area compared to the conventional electrode (CE). These results confirm that the synthesis process of H2O2 immersion is an unsuitable method for surface modification. In contrast, the PE fabricated by anodization can increase the OER activity by providing high adsorption of reactants through surface modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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8 pages, 1406 KiB  
Article
Stable Surface Technology for HER Electrodes
by Hong Soo Kim, Hwapyong Kim, Monica Claire Flores, Gyu-Seok Jung and Su-Il In
Catalysts 2021, 11(6), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11060693 - 30 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
With the rapid increase in energy consumption worldwide, the development of renewable and alternative energy sources can sustain long-term development in the energy field. Hydrogen (H2), which is one of the clean chemical fuels, has the highest weight energy density and [...] Read more.
With the rapid increase in energy consumption worldwide, the development of renewable and alternative energy sources can sustain long-term development in the energy field. Hydrogen (H2), which is one of the clean chemical fuels, has the highest weight energy density and its combustion byproduct is only water. Among the various methods of producing hydrogen source, water electrolysis is a process that can effectively produce H2. However, it is difficult for commercialization of water electrolysis for H2 production due to the high cost and low abundance of noble metal-based cathodic electrode used for highly efficiency. Several studies have been conducted to reduce noble metal loading and/or completely replace them with other materials to overcome these obstacles. Among them, stainless steel contains many components of transition metals (Ni, Cr, Co) but have sluggish reaction kinetics and small active surface area. In this study, the problem of stainless steel was to be solved by utilizing the electrocatalytic properties of silver nanoparticles on the electrode surface, and electrodes were easily fabricated through the electrodeposition process. In addition, the surface shape, elemental properties, and HER activity of the electrode was analyzed by comparing it with the commercialized silver nanoparticle-coated invasive electrodes from Inanos (Inano-Ag-IE) through the plasma coating process. As a result, silver nanoparticle-coated conventional electrode (Ag-CE) fabricated through electrodeposition confirmed high HER activity and stability. However, the Inano-Ag-IE showed low HER activity as silver nanoparticles were not found. We encourage further research on the production process of such products for sustainable energy applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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12 pages, 13428 KiB  
Article
Extinction Effect of Gold Nanocatalysts on Photocatalytic Activities under Plasmonic Excitation
by Donghee Kim and Youngsoo Kim
Catalysts 2021, 11(4), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal11040413 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2181
Abstract
Plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs), particularly Au NPs, are potential candidates for photocatalysts because of their unique optical properties. The size of Au NPs plays a crucial role in effective light absorption, which is an important factor in photocatalytic reactions. Although Au NP-based photocatalysts have [...] Read more.
Plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs), particularly Au NPs, are potential candidates for photocatalysts because of their unique optical properties. The size of Au NPs plays a crucial role in effective light absorption, which is an important factor in photocatalytic reactions. Although Au NP-based photocatalysts have garnered significant researched interest, the size effect of Au NPs on a photocatalytic reaction has not been sufficiently studied. We characterized the effect of size on the photocatalytic activity of Au NPs of different sizes. We found that the absorption cross-section of the Au NPs gradually increased as the size of the Au NPs increased. However, the reaction rate for each size of NP was inversely proportional to the absorption cross-section. Based on the simulation results, we found that larger Au NPs have a higher scattering factor than that of smaller Au NPs. Consequently, the scattering effect of Au NPs hinders effective light absorption, resulting in slower reaction kinetics. These findings can contribute to the rational design of high-efficiency plasmonic photocatalysts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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14 pages, 3640 KiB  
Article
Energy Storage and CO2 Reduction Performances of Co/Co2C/C Prepared by an Anaerobic Ethanol Oxidation Reaction Using Sacrificial SnO2
by Young In Choi, Ju Hyun Yang, So Jeong Park and Youngku Sohn
Catalysts 2020, 10(10), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10101116 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2337
Abstract
Co/Co2C/C hybrids were prepared employing a new synthetic route and demonstrated as materials for energy storage and CO2 recycling application. Herein, an anaerobic ethanol oxidation reaction over Co3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) was first employed to fabricate Co/Co2 [...] Read more.
Co/Co2C/C hybrids were prepared employing a new synthetic route and demonstrated as materials for energy storage and CO2 recycling application. Herein, an anaerobic ethanol oxidation reaction over Co3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) was first employed to fabricate Co/Co2C/C hybrids using sacrificial SnO2. In the absence of SnO2, Co3O4 NPs were converted to alpha and beta metallic Co. On the other hand, using sacrificial SnO2 resulted in the formation of Co2C and Co embedded in the carbon matrix at approximately 450 °C, as determined by temperature-programmed mass spectrometry analysis. The newly developed materials were fully examined by X-ray diffraction crystallography, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The Co/Co2C/C hybrids showed a specific capacitance of 153 F/g at a current density of 0.5 A/g. Photocatalytic CO2 reduction experiments were performed and generated CO, CH4, and CH3OH as reduction products with yields of 47.7, 11.0, and 23.4 μmol/g, respectively. The anaerobic ethanol oxidation reaction could be a very useful method for the development of carbon-supported metal carbides, which have not been achieved by other synthetic methods. Furthermore, the demonstration tests unveiled new application areas of Co carbide materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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Review

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73 pages, 15140 KiB  
Review
Electrode Materials for Supercapacitors: A Review of Recent Advances
by Parnia Forouzandeh, Vignesh Kumaravel and Suresh C. Pillai
Catalysts 2020, 10(9), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10090969 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 280 | Viewed by 36533
Abstract
The advanced electrochemical properties, such as high energy density, fast charge–discharge rates, excellent cyclic stability, and specific capacitance, make supercapacitor a fascinating electronic device. During recent decades, a significant amount of research has been dedicated to enhancing the electrochemical performance of the supercapacitors [...] Read more.
The advanced electrochemical properties, such as high energy density, fast charge–discharge rates, excellent cyclic stability, and specific capacitance, make supercapacitor a fascinating electronic device. During recent decades, a significant amount of research has been dedicated to enhancing the electrochemical performance of the supercapacitors through the development of novel electrode materials. In addition to highlighting the charge storage mechanism of the three main categories of supercapacitors, including the electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs), pseudocapacitors, and the hybrid supercapacitors, this review describes the insights of the recent electrode materials (including, carbon-based materials, metal oxide/hydroxide-based materials, and conducting polymer-based materials, 2D materials). The nanocomposites offer larger SSA, shorter ion/electron diffusion paths, thus improving the specific capacitance of supercapacitors (SCs). Besides, the incorporation of the redox-active small molecules and bio-derived functional groups displayed a significant effect on the electrochemical properties of electrode materials. These advanced properties provide a vast range of potential for the electrode materials to be utilized in different applications such as in wearable/portable/electronic devices such as all-solid-state supercapacitors, transparent/flexible supercapacitors, and asymmetric hybrid supercapacitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electrocatalysis and Electrode Materials for Energy Production)
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