Nanoelectrocatalysts for Energy and Environmental Applications

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy and Catalysis".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 1915

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto de Materiales y Nanotecnología, Departamento de Química, Universidad de La Laguna, AP 456, La Laguna, 38206 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Interests: electrochemistry; design and characterisation of electrocatalysts; nanostructured materials; renewable energies; green hydrogen; fuel cells; electrolysers; photoelectrocatalysis; water splitting

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Materiales y Nanotecnología, Departamento de Química, Universidad de La Laguna, AP 456, La Laguna, 38206 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
Interests: electrochemistry; nanostructured materials; electrografting; surface modification; nanoscaled coatings; adhesion promotion/inhibiton films

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The search for catalysts with outstanding performance in different electrochemical processes related to energy production, storage and other environmental applications has achieved an answer in the tunning of different structures with novel crystalline and morphological properties, which play a key role in the activity of these materials. In recent years, the synthesis of nanoparticles has evolved to the design of novel 1D, 2D and 3D materials as both, powder and top-down/bottom-up grown structures from several substrates, overcoming the classical nanoparticle-structured materials synthesised using chemical/hydrothermal methods. In this regard, different synthesis strategies and characterisation techniques have been introduced and employed to prepare materials, but novel techniques have also been employed to identify the physicochemical features of their nanostructure. The effect and contribution of these features on their activity when they are employed as catalysts in the most common reactions involved in energy storage and production has been described, but more studies in this field are required.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present innovative results concerning the design and characterisation of nanostructured materials and their potential applications in different energy production and environmental applications, including proton exchange membrane fuel cells, electrolysers, ground and water remediation, and CO2 electrochemical capture, among others, as well as supported and unsupported catalysts with different crystalline shapes, composites and materials grown from novel supports avoiding the use of binders. Therefore, we invite authors to present their novel research through original articles addressing the design and characterisation of catalytic materials with novel properties achieved from their nanostructures.

Dr. Juan Carlos Calderón Gómez
Dr. Alejandro González Orive
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • electrocatalysts
  • PEM fuel cells
  • direct alcohol fuel cells
  • electrolysers
  • HER
  • ORR
  • OER
  • top-down
  • bottom-up
  • nanostructured materials

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 4309 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Titanium Nitride–Carbon Composites and Their Use in Lithium-Ion Batteries
by Helia Magali Morales, Horacio Vieyra, David A. Sanchez, Elizabeth M. Fletes, Michael Odlyzko, Timothy P. Lodge, Victoria Padilla-Gainza, Mataz Alcoutlabi and Jason G. Parsons
Nanomaterials 2024, 14(7), 624; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano14070624 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 875
Abstract
This work focuses on the synthesis of titanium nitride–carbon (TiN–carbon) composites by the thermal decomposition of a titanyl phthalocyanine (TiN(TD)) precursor into TiN. The synthesis of TiN was also performed using the sol-gel method (TiN(SG)) of an alkoxide/urea. The structure and morphology of [...] Read more.
This work focuses on the synthesis of titanium nitride–carbon (TiN–carbon) composites by the thermal decomposition of a titanyl phthalocyanine (TiN(TD)) precursor into TiN. The synthesis of TiN was also performed using the sol-gel method (TiN(SG)) of an alkoxide/urea. The structure and morphology of the TiN–carbon and its precursors were characterized by XRD, FTIR, SEM, TEM, EDS, and XPS. The FTIR results confirmed the presence of the titanium phthalocyanine (TiOPC) complex, while the XRD data corroborated the decomposition of TiOPC into TiN. The resultant TiN exhibited a cubic structure with the FM3-M lattice, aligning with the crystal system of the synthesized TiN via the alkoxide route. The XPS results indicated that the particles synthesized from the thermal decomposition of TiOPC resulted in the formation of TiN–carbon composites. The TiN particles were present as clusters of small spherical particles within the carbon matrix, displaying a porous sponge-like morphology. The proposed thermal decomposition method resulted in the formation of metal nitride composites with high carbon content, which were used as anodes for Li-ion half cells. The TiN–carbon composite anode showed a good specific capacity after 100 cycles at a current density of 100 mAg−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoelectrocatalysts for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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20 pages, 3074 KiB  
Article
Tailored Porous Carbon Xerogels for Fe-N-C Catalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells
by Laura Álvarez-Manuel, Cinthia Alegre, David Sebastián, Pedro F. Napal and María Jesús Lázaro
Nanomaterials 2024, 14(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano14010014 - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 748
Abstract
Atomically dispersed Fe-N-C catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have been synthesized with a template-free method using carbon xerogels (CXG) as a porous matrix. The porosity of the CXGs is easily tunable through slight variations in the synthesis procedure. In this work, [...] Read more.
Atomically dispersed Fe-N-C catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) have been synthesized with a template-free method using carbon xerogels (CXG) as a porous matrix. The porosity of the CXGs is easily tunable through slight variations in the synthesis procedure. In this work, CXGs are prepared by formaldehyde and resorcinol polymerization, modifying the pH during the process. Materials with a broad range of porous structures are obtained: from non-porous to micro-/meso-/macroporous materials. The porous properties of CXG have a direct effect on Fe-N-CXG activity against ORR in an acidic medium (0.5 M H2SO4). Macropores and wide mesopores are vital to favor the mass transport of reagents to the active sites available in the micropores, while narrower mesopores can generate additional tortuosity. The role of microporosity is investigated by comparing two Fe-N-C catalysts using the same CXG as the matrix but following a different Fe and N doping procedure. In one case, the carbonization of CXG occurs rapidly and simultaneously with Fe and N doping, whereas in the other case it proceeds slowly, under controlled conditions and before the doping process, resulting in the formation of more micropores and active sites and achieving higher activity in a three-electrode cell and a better durability during fuel cell measurements. This work proves the feasibility of the template-free method using CXG as a carbon matrix for Fe-N-C catalysts, with the novelty of the controlled porous properties of the carbon material and its effect on the catalytic activity of the Fe-N-C catalyst. Moreover, the results obtained highlight the importance of the carbon matrix’s porous structure in influencing the activity of Fe-N-C catalysts against ORR. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanoelectrocatalysts for Energy and Environmental Applications)
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