Porous nickel fibers with enhanced electrocatalytic activities on electro-oxidation of ethanol in alkaline media

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Well-dispersed mesoporous nickel fibers with large specific surface areas were first reported as anode catalysts for the electro-oxidation of ethanol. The porous nickel fibers could be obtained by an easily controlled and template-free coordination precipitation-thermal deposition method using NiCl2 6H2O and oxalic acid as the raw materials and ammonia as the complexing and morphology-controlling agent. The method was low cost and suitable for mass production. The resulting nickel material showed a significant advantage of the hierarchical porous structure with fibrous morphology and a large specific surface area of 7.9 m2 g−1. The nickel fibers/GCE exhibited significantly higher electrocatalytic peak current density of 63 mA cm−2 with a lower Tafel slope of 58.7 mv dec−1. It also showed lower charge transfer resistance in the presence of ethanol (c = 0.2 mol L−1) compared with those of the purchased spherical nickel powders. The superior electrocatalytic performance makes the as-prepared mesoporous fibers promising candidates for electrochemical catalyst materials in direct alkaline ethanol fuel cells (DAEFCs).

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© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11837-019-03363-5

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Energy Materials