Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2017) | Viewed by 79650

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA
Interests: nanomaterials; nanostructures; carbon nanomaterials; energy storage; energy conversion
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Guest Editor
Center for Nano Energy Materials, School of Materials Sciences and Engineering, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an 710072, China
Interests: energy storage materials and technology; electrocatalysis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The urgent demand for clean and renewable energy drives intensive exploration of sustainable energy technologies as alternative replacements to the use of exhaustible fossil fuels. Among the various possibilities, full cells and supercapacitors represent the typical electrochemical energy conversion and storage technologies, respectively, that could afford high power density, high energy density and long-term stability. These attractive characteristics make them promising in a wide range of applications, such as electronics and electric vehicles. In recent years, this promise has triggered proliferation of research into different nanomaterials, including 0D nanostructures (e.g., nanoparticles), 1D nanostructures (e.g., nanowires, nanotubes, nanorods, etc.), 2D nanostructures (e.g., graphene, metal dichalcogenides) and their 3D hybrids. Regarding the fuel cells/supercapacitors, it is of great importance to design and prepare high efficient and low cost electro-catalysts/electrode materials to make full use of their conversion/storage performance. Nanomaterials are excellent candidates in view of the fact that they can provide large surface area for numerous electro-active sites. This Special Issue aims to address current and future advancements in all aspects of nanomaterials science and engineering and their applications for fuel cells and supercapacitors. We cordially invite original research and review contributions on a myriad range of topics that include nanomaterials, nanotechnologies and fundamental mechanisms in these two fields.

Prof. Dr. Bingqing Wei
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jian-Gan Wang
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • electro-catalyst

  • electrode material

  • nanomaterial

  • fuel cell

  • supercapacitor

  • high efficiency

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 16381 KiB  
Article
Morphology-Controlled Synthesis of Hematite Nanocrystals and Their Optical, Magnetic and Electrochemical Performance
by Bangquan Li, Qian Sun, Hongsheng Fan, Ming Cheng, Aixian Shan, Yimin Cui and Rongming Wang
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8010041 - 15 Jan 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5445
Abstract
A series of α-Fe2O3 nanocrystals (NCs) with fascinating morphologies, such as hollow nanoolives, nanotubes, nanospindles, and nanoplates, were prepared through a simple template-free hydrothermal synthesis process. The results showed that the morphologies could be easily controlled by SO42− [...] Read more.
A series of α-Fe2O3 nanocrystals (NCs) with fascinating morphologies, such as hollow nanoolives, nanotubes, nanospindles, and nanoplates, were prepared through a simple template-free hydrothermal synthesis process. The results showed that the morphologies could be easily controlled by SO42− and H2PO4. Physical property analysis showed that the α-Fe2O3 NCs exhibited shape- and size-dependent ferromagnetic and optical behaviors. The absorption band peak of the α-Fe2O3 NCs could be tuned from 320 to 610 nm. Furthermore, when applied as electrode material for supercapacitor, the hollow olive-structure exhibited the highest capacitance (285.9 F·g−1) and an excellent long-term cycling stability (93% after 3000 cycles), indicating that it could serve as a candidate electrode material for a supercapacitor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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15 pages, 3787 KiB  
Article
Engineering Ru@Pt Core-Shell Catalysts for Enhanced Electrochemical Oxygen Reduction Mass Activity and Stability
by Ariel Jackson, Alaina Strickler, Drew Higgins and Thomas Francisco Jaramillo
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8010038 - 12 Jan 2018
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 8157
Abstract
Improving the performance of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts is essential for the commercial efficacy of many renewable energy technologies, including low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Herein, we report highly active and stable carbon-supported Ru@Pt core-shell nanoparticles (Ru@Pt/C) prepared by a [...] Read more.
Improving the performance of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) electrocatalysts is essential for the commercial efficacy of many renewable energy technologies, including low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Herein, we report highly active and stable carbon-supported Ru@Pt core-shell nanoparticles (Ru@Pt/C) prepared by a wet chemical synthesis technique. Through rotating disc electrode testing, the Ru@Pt/C achieves an ORR Pt mass-based activity of 0.50 A mgPt−1 at 0.9 V versus the reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), which exceeds the activity of the state-of-the-art commercial Pt/C catalyst as well as the Department of Energy 2020 PEFC electrocatalyst activity targets for transportation applications. The impact of various synthetic parameters, including Pt to Ru ratios and catalyst pretreatments (i.e., annealing) are thoroughly explored. Pt-based mass activity of all prepared Ru@Pt/C catalysts was found to exceed 0.4 mgPt−1 across the range of compositions investigated, with the maximum activity catalyst having a Ru:Pt ratio of 1:1. This optimized composition of Ru@Pt/C catalyst demonstrated remarkable stability after 30,000 accelerated durability cycles (0.6 to 1.0 V vs. RHE at 125 mV s−1), maintaining 85% of its initial mass activity. Scanning transmission electron microscopy energy dispersive spectroscopy (STEM-EDS) analysis at various stages of electrochemical testing demonstrated that the Pt shell can provide sufficient protection against the dissolution of the otherwise unstable Ru core. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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9784 KiB  
Article
Self-Supported Ni(P, O)x·MoOx Nanowire Array on Nickel Foam as an Efficient and Durable Electrocatalyst for Alkaline Hydrogen Evolution
by Wei Hua, Huanyan Liu, Jian-Gan Wang and Bingqing Wei
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7120433 - 6 Dec 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5130
Abstract
Earth-abundant and low-cost catalysts with excellent electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity in alkaline solution play an important role in the sustainable production of hydrogen energy. In this work, a catalyst of Ni(P, O)x·MoOx nanowire array on nickel foam has [...] Read more.
Earth-abundant and low-cost catalysts with excellent electrocatalytic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) activity in alkaline solution play an important role in the sustainable production of hydrogen energy. In this work, a catalyst of Ni(P, O)x·MoOx nanowire array on nickel foam has been prepared via a facile route for efficient alkaline HER. Benefiting from the collaborative advantages of Ni(P, O)x and amorphous MoOx, as well as three-dimensional porous conductive nickel scaffold, the hybrid electrocatalyst shows high catalytic activity in 1 M KOH aqueous solution, including a small overpotential of 59 mV at 10 mA cm−2, a low Tafel slope of 54 mV dec-1, and excellent cycling stability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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8042 KiB  
Article
Hierarchical Mn2O3 Microspheres In-Situ Coated with Carbon for Supercapacitors with Highly Enhanced Performances
by Feilong Gong, Shuang Lu, Lifang Peng, Jing Zhou, Jinming Kong, Dianzeng Jia and Feng Li
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(12), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7120409 - 23 Nov 2017
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4828
Abstract
Porous Mn2O3 microspheres have been synthesized and in-situ coated with amorphous carbon to form hierarchical C@Mn2O3 microspheres by first producing MnCO3 microspheres in solvothermal reactions, and then annealing at 500 °C. The self-assembly growth of MnCO [...] Read more.
Porous Mn2O3 microspheres have been synthesized and in-situ coated with amorphous carbon to form hierarchical C@Mn2O3 microspheres by first producing MnCO3 microspheres in solvothermal reactions, and then annealing at 500 °C. The self-assembly growth of MnCO3 microspheres can generate hollow structures inside each of the particles, which can act as micro-reservoirs to store biomass-glycerol for generating amorphous carbon onto the surfaces of Mn2O3 nanorods consisting of microspheres. The C@Mn2O3 microspheres, prepared at 500 °C, exhibit highly enhanced pseudocapacitive performances when compared to the particles after annealed at 400 °C and 600 °C. Specifically, the C@Mn2O3 microspheres prepared at 500 °C show high specific capacitances of 383.87 F g−1 at current density of 0.5 A g−1, and excellent cycling stability of 90.47% of its initial value after cycling for 5000 times. The asymmetric supercapacitors assembled with C@Mn2O3 microspheres after annealed at 500 °C and activated carbon (AC) show an energy density of up to 77.8 Wh kg−1 at power density of 500.00 W kg−1, and a maximum power density of 20.14 kW kg−1 at energy density of 46.8 Wh kg−1. We can attribute the enhanced electrochemical performances of the materials to their three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical structure in-situ coated with carbon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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6204 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Reaction by In Situ Anchoring Fe2N Nanoparticles on Nitrogen-Doped Pomelo Peel-Derived Carbon
by Yiqing Wang, Mingyuan Zhu, Gang Wang, Bin Dai, Feng Yu, Zhiqun Tian and Xuhong Guo
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(11), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7110404 - 22 Nov 2017
Cited by 40 | Viewed by 6186
Abstract
The development of effective oxygen electrode catalysts for renewable energy technologies such as metal-air batteries and fuel cells remains challenging. Here, we prepared a novel high-performance oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst comprised of Fe2N nanoparticles (NPs) in situ decorated over an [...] Read more.
The development of effective oxygen electrode catalysts for renewable energy technologies such as metal-air batteries and fuel cells remains challenging. Here, we prepared a novel high-performance oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst comprised of Fe2N nanoparticles (NPs) in situ decorated over an N-doped porous carbon derived from pomelo peel (i.e., Fe2N/N-PPC). The decorated Fe2N NPs provided large quantities of Fe-N-C bonding catalytic sites. The as-obtained Fe2N/N-PPC showed superior onset and half-wave potentials (0.966 and 0.891 V, respectively) in alkaline media (0.1 M KOH) compared to commercial Pt/C through a direct four-electron reaction pathway. Fe2N/N-PPC also showed better stability and methanol tolerance than commercial Pt/C. The outstanding ORR performance of Fe2N/N-PPC was attributed to its high specific surface area and the synergistic effects of Fe2N NPs. The utilization of agricultural wastes as a precursor makes Fe2N/N-PPC an ideal non-precious metal catalyst for ORR applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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1970 KiB  
Article
Construction of Hierarchical CuO/Cu2O@NiCo2S4 Nanowire Arrays on Copper Foam for High Performance Supercapacitor Electrodes
by Luoxiao Zhou, Ying He, Congpu Jia, Vladimir Pavlinek, Petr Saha and Qilin Cheng
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(9), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7090273 - 15 Sep 2017
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 8965
Abstract
Hierarchical copper oxide @ ternary nickel cobalt sulfide (CuO/Cu2O@NiCo2S4) core-shell nanowire arrays on Cu foam have been successfully constructed by a facile two-step strategy. Vertically aligned CuO/Cu2O nanowire arrays are firstly grown on Cu foam [...] Read more.
Hierarchical copper oxide @ ternary nickel cobalt sulfide (CuO/Cu2O@NiCo2S4) core-shell nanowire arrays on Cu foam have been successfully constructed by a facile two-step strategy. Vertically aligned CuO/Cu2O nanowire arrays are firstly grown on Cu foam by one-step thermal oxidation of Cu foam, followed by electrodeposition of NiCo2S4 nanosheets on the surface of CuO/Cu2O nanowires to form the CuO/Cu2O@NiCo2S4 core-shell nanostructures. Structural and morphological characterizations indicate that the average thickness of the NiCo2S4 nanosheets is ~20 nm and the diameter of CuO/Cu2O core is ~50 nm. Electrochemical properties of the hierarchical composites as integrated binder-free electrodes for supercapacitor were evaluated by various electrochemical methods. The hierarchical composite electrodes could achieve ultrahigh specific capacitance of 3.186 F cm−2 at 10 mA cm−2, good rate capability (82.06% capacitance retention at the current density from 2 to 50 mA cm−2) and excellent cycling stability, with capacitance retention of 96.73% after 2000 cycles at 10 mA cm−2. These results demonstrate the significance of optimized design and fabrication of electrode materials with more sufficient electrolyte-electrode interface, robust structural integrity and fast ion/electron transfer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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2992 KiB  
Article
Facile synthesis of Mesoporouscobalt Hexacyanoferrate Nanocubes for High-Performance Supercapacitors
by Zhiyong Zhang, Jian-Gan Wang and Bingqing Wei
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(8), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7080228 - 21 Aug 2017
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5518
Abstract
Mesoporous cobalt hexacyanoferrate nanocubes (meso–CoHCF) were prepared for the first time through a facile sacrificial template method. The CoHCF mesostructures possess a high specific surface area of 548.5 m2·g−1 and a large amount of mesopores, which enable fast mass transport [...] Read more.
Mesoporous cobalt hexacyanoferrate nanocubes (meso–CoHCF) were prepared for the first time through a facile sacrificial template method. The CoHCF mesostructures possess a high specific surface area of 548.5 m2·g−1 and a large amount of mesopores, which enable fast mass transport of electrolyte and abundant energy storage sites. When evaluated as supercapacitor materials, the meso–CoHCF materials exhibit a high specific capacitance of 285 F·g−1, good rate capability and long cycle life with capacitance retention of 92.9% after 3000 cycles in Na2SO4 aqueous electrolyte. The excellent electrochemical properties demonstrate the rational preparation of mesoporous prussian blue and its analogues for energy storage applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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27750 KiB  
Article
Stepwise Splitting Growth and Pseudocapacitive Properties of Hierarchical Three-Dimensional Co3O4 Nanobooks
by Huilong Chen, Shuang Lu, Feilong Gong, Huanzhen Liu and Feng Li
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(4), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7040081 - 10 Apr 2017
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 4851
Abstract
Three-dimensional hierarchical Co3O4 nanobooks have been synthesized successfully on a large scale by calcining orthorhombic Co(CO3)0.5(OH)·0.11H2O precursors with identical morphologies. Based on the influence of reaction time and urea concentration on the nanostructures of [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional hierarchical Co3O4 nanobooks have been synthesized successfully on a large scale by calcining orthorhombic Co(CO3)0.5(OH)·0.11H2O precursors with identical morphologies. Based on the influence of reaction time and urea concentration on the nanostructures of the precursors, a stepwise splitting growth mechanism can be proposed to understand the formation of the 3D nanobooks. The 3D Co3O4 nanobooks exhibit excellent pseudocapacitive performances with specific capacitances of 590, 539, 476, 453, and 421 F/g at current densities of 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 A/g, respectively. The devices can retain ca. 97.4% of the original specific capacitances after undergoing charge–discharge cycle tests 1000 times continuously at 4 A/g. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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1578 KiB  
Article
Formation of Platinum Catalyst on Carbon Black Using an In‐Liquid Plasma Method for Fuel Cells
by Yoshiyuki Show and Yutaro Ueno
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7020031 - 31 Jan 2017
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5464
Abstract
Platinum (Pt) catalyst was formed on the surface of carbon black using an in‐liquid plasma method. The formed Pt catalyst showed the average particle size of 4.1 nm. This Pt catalyst was applied to a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The PEMFC [...] Read more.
Platinum (Pt) catalyst was formed on the surface of carbon black using an in‐liquid plasma method. The formed Pt catalyst showed the average particle size of 4.1 nm. This Pt catalyst was applied to a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The PEMFC showed an open voltage of 0.85 V and a maximum output power density of 216 mW/cm2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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3489 KiB  
Article
Electrochemical and Capacitive Properties of Carbon Dots/Reduced Graphene Oxide Supercapacitors
by Yong-Qiang Dang, Shao-Zhao Ren, Guoyang Liu, Jiangtao Cai, Yating Zhang and Jieshan Qiu
Nanomaterials 2016, 6(11), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano6110212 - 14 Nov 2016
Cited by 55 | Viewed by 8727
Abstract
There is much recent interest in graphene-based composite electrode materials because of their excellent mechanical strengths, high electron mobilities, and large specific surface areas. These materials are good candidates for applications in supercapacitors. In this work, a new graphene-based electrode material for supercapacitors [...] Read more.
There is much recent interest in graphene-based composite electrode materials because of their excellent mechanical strengths, high electron mobilities, and large specific surface areas. These materials are good candidates for applications in supercapacitors. In this work, a new graphene-based electrode material for supercapacitors was fabricated by anchoring carbon dots (CDs) on reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The capacitive properties of electrodes in aqueous electrolytes were systematically studied by galvanostatic charge-discharge measurements, cyclic voltammetry, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The capacitance of rGO was improved when an appropriate amount of CDs were added to the material. The CD/rGO electrode exhibited a good reversibility, excellent rate capability, fast charge transfer, and high specific capacitance in 1 M H2SO4. Its capacitance was as high as 211.9 F/g at a current density of 0.5 A/g. This capacitance was 74.3% higher than that of a pristine rGO electrode (121.6 F/g), and the capacitance of the CD/rGO electrode retained 92.8% of its original value after 1000 cycles at a CDs-to-rGO ratio of 5:1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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Review

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4336 KiB  
Review
NiCo2O4-Based Supercapacitor Nanomaterials
by Chenggang Wang, E Zhou, Weidong He, Xiaolong Deng, Jinzhao Huang, Meng Ding, Xianqi Wei, Xiaojing Liu and Xijin Xu
Nanomaterials 2017, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano7020041 - 15 Feb 2017
Cited by 137 | Viewed by 15118
Abstract
In recent years, the research on supercapacitors has ushered in an explosive growth, which mainly focuses on seeking nano-/micro-materials with high energy and power densities. Herein, this review will be arranged from three aspects. We will summarize the controllable architectures of spinel NiCo [...] Read more.
In recent years, the research on supercapacitors has ushered in an explosive growth, which mainly focuses on seeking nano-/micro-materials with high energy and power densities. Herein, this review will be arranged from three aspects. We will summarize the controllable architectures of spinel NiCo2O4 fabricated by various approaches. Then, we introduce their performances as supercapacitors due to their excellent electrochemical performance, including superior electronic conductivity and electrochemical activity, together with the low cost and environmental friendliness. Finally, the review will be concluded with the perspectives on the future development of spinel NiCo2O4 utilized as the supercapacitor electrodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials Based Fuel Cells and Supercapacitors)
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