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Development of Electrocatalysts towards the Hydrogen Reactions

Grant number: 16/07848-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal researcher:Almir Oliveira Neto
Grantee:Thiago Lopes
Home Institution: Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN). Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Official projections, predict a 50% increase in the electrical energy demand in Brazil for the next decade. However, the Brazilian INDC presented at the COP21 commits the country to reduce by 43% its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Therefore, science and technology have a key role and are fundamental towards reducing the costs of renewables and low carbon technologies, which are mandatory to equalize the increasing domestic energy demand (including fuels) and the ambitious INDC of Brazil. Among the possible scenarios for a sustainable future society, the hydrogen economy is highlighted. However, actual systems interconverting hydrogen-electrical energy are based on rare (non-abundant in Brazil) and non-selective (susceptible to e.g. CO) catalysts, and on imported technologies, which make it a non-viable technology in Brazil. In this perspective, the present project proposes a promising approach to develop new electrocatalysts selective towards the hydrogen oxidation and evolution reactions, and designed to a Brazilian scenario (based on abundant elements in Brazil). In this work, it is aimed to understand the factors contributing to the electrocatalytic activity of catalysts based on carbon nanostructures (or having these as support), such as the electronegativity of the doping heteroatom, as well as, it is aimed to quantify and determine the active site(s) in these emerging nanomaterials.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MALKO, DANIEL; KUCERNAK, ANTHONY; LOPES, THIAGO. Performance of Fe-N/C Oxygen Reduction Electrocatalysts toward NO2-, NO, and NH2OH Electroreduction: From Fundamental Insights into the Active Center to a New Method for Environmental Nitrite Destruction. Journal of the American Chemical Society, v. 138, n. 49, p. 16056-16068, DEC 14 2016. Web of Science Citations: 25.
MALKO, DANIEL; KUCERNAK, ANTHONY; LOPES, THIAGO. In situ electrochemical quantification of active sites in Fe-N/C non-precious metal catalysts. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, v. 7, OCT 31 2016. Web of Science Citations: 61.

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