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Investigation of the stability and durability of Fe-Nx/C structured electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Grant number: 22/11694-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 12, 2022
Effective date (End): March 11, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Edson Antonio Ticianelli
Grantee:Júlia Maria Peixe Santesso
Supervisor: Sabrina Campagna Zignani
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Institute of Advanced Tecnologies for Energy "Nicola Giordano" (ITAE), Italy  
Associated to the scholarship:21/01009-8 - Investigation of Fe-Nx/C electrocatalitic structures for the hydrogen evolution reaction in acid and alkaline media, BP.IC


Non-noble metal catalysts of the Fe-Nx/C type (iron atoms coordinated with nitrogen atoms, in a packaged carbon structure) and prepared using the Fe[(2,4,6-Tris(2-) pyridyl)-1,3,5-Triazine]2 2+ complex as a precursor (Fe[TPTZ]22+), have been frequently studied for their catalytic activities for several reactions, including the oxygen reduction reaction. However, despite the promising perspectives, these specific catalysts have not yet been tested for the activity of the hydrogen evolution reaction, an important reaction involved in water electrolysis. In these terms, the present work comprises the preparation of Fe-Nx/C catalysts based on (Fe[TPTZ]2 2+) by several methods, which will be then characterized following possible changes in catalytic activity for hydrogen evolution reactions during and after different tests of stability experiments, investigating different types of membrane-electrode in a single cell to monitor the durability of the electrocatalyst. Research in this area should assist in the future development of hydrogen evolution reactions, especially when using polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). The XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) analyses will be carried out, which is considered one of the most advanced techniques for characterizing electrocatalysts. (AU)

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