Vitalizing fuel cells with vitamins: Pyrolyzed vitamin B12 as a non-precious catalyst for enhanced oxygen reduction reaction of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

Sun Tang Chang, Chen Hao Wang, He Yun Du, Hsin Cheng Hsu, Chih Ming Kang, Chia Chun Chen, Jeffrey C.S. Wu, Shi Chern Yen, Wen Fei Huang, Li Chyong Chen, M. C. Lin, Kuei Hsien Chen

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Abstract

The limited natural abundance and high cost of Pt has been a major barrier in its applications for hydrogen or methanol fuel cells. In this work, based on the pyrolyzed corrin structure of vitamin B12 (py-B12/C), it is reported to produce superior catalytic activity in the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) with an electron transfer number of 3.90, which is very close to the ideal case of 4. The H2-O2 fuel cell using py-B12/C provides a maximum power density of 370 mW cm-2 and a current density of 0.720 A cm -2 at 0.5 V at 70 °C. Calculations based on density functional theory suggests that the corrin complex with a low-symmetric structure offers a much preferable path for the ORR, which is not applicable to the porphyrin with a high-symmetric structure. The long-term stability and high ORR activity of py-B12/C make it a viable candidate as a Pt-substitute in the ORR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5305-5314
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Pollution

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    Chang, S. T., Wang, C. H., Du, H. Y., Hsu, H. C., Kang, C. M., Chen, C. C., Wu, J. C. S., Yen, S. C., Huang, W. F., Chen, L. C., Lin, M. C., & Chen, K. H. (2012). Vitalizing fuel cells with vitamins: Pyrolyzed vitamin B12 as a non-precious catalyst for enhanced oxygen reduction reaction of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Energy and Environmental Science, 5(1), 5305-5314. https://doi.org/10.1039/c1ee01962g