Iron Single Atoms on Graphene as Nonprecious Metal Catalysts for High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2019Researchpeer-review



  • Author: Cheng, Yi

    Central South University, China

  • Author: He, Shuai

    Curtin University of Technology, Australia

  • Author: Lu, Shanfu

    Beihang University, China

  • Author: Veder, Jean-Pierre

    Curtin University of Technology, Australia

  • Author: Johannessen, Bernt

    Australian Synchrotron, Australia

  • Author: Thomsen, Lars

    Australian Synchrotron, Australia

  • Author: Saunders, Martin

    University of Western Australia, Australia

  • Author: Becker, Thomas

    Curtin University of Technology, Australia

  • Author: De Marco, Roland

    University of the Sunshine Coast

  • Author: Li, Qingfeng

    Electrochemistry, Department of Energy Conversion and Storage, Technical University of Denmark, Fysikvej, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Yang, Shi-ze

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States

  • Author: Jiang, San Ping

    Curtin University of Technology, Australia

View graph of relations

Iron single atom catalysts (Fe SACs) are the best‐known nonprecious metal (NPM) catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), but their practical application has been constrained by the low Fe SACs loading (<2 wt%). Here, a one‐pot pyrolysis method is reported for the synthesis of iron single atoms on graphene (FeSA‐G) with a high Fe SAC loading of ≈7.7 ± 1.3 wt%. The as‐synthesized FeSA‐G shows an onset potential of 0.950 V and a half‐wave potential of 0.804 V in acid electrolyte for the ORR, similar to that of Pt/C catalysts but with a much higher stability and higher phosphate anion tolerance. High temperature SiO2 nanoparticle‐doped phosphoric acid/polybenzimidazole (PA/PBI/SiO2) composite membrane cells utilizing a FeSA‐G cathode with Fe SAC loading of 0.3 mg cm−2 delivers a peak power density of 325 mW cm−2 at 230 °C, better than 313 mW cm−2 obtained on the cell with a Pt/C cathode at a Pt loading of 1 mg cm−2. The cell with FeSA‐G cathode exhibits superior stability at 230 °C, as compared to that with Pt/C cathode. Our results provide a new approach to developing practical NPM catalysts to replace Pt‐based catalysts for fuel cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1802066
JournalAdvanced Science
Issue number10
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

    Research areas

  • High loading, High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Iron single atom catalysis, Nonprecious metal catalysts, Oxygen reduction reaction

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 170894849