Synthesis of mesoporous carbon spheres via a soft-template route for catalyst supports in PEMFC cathodes

H. Javed, S. Pani, J. Antony, M. Sakthivel and J.-F. Drillet

Soft Matter, 17 (2021), doi: https://doi.org/10.1039/D1SM00450F

Soft Matter 17 (2021)_GA

Abstract

Synthesis of carbon spheres via a soft-template route should be further improved for industrial applications especially in terms of time, cost and scalability. The present work reports on the relatively fast production of mesoporous carbon via an ammonia-catalyzed hydrothermal soft-template one-pot route denoted as CFAH with m-aminophenol as the carbon source and triblock copolymer Pluronic® F127 as the template. For comparison, an acidic route with resol as the carbon precursor (CFRH) was evaluated as well. The best results regarding particle size and pore distribution of the as-prepared CFRH and CFAH samples were obtained in 2 M HCl and 6 M NH4OH at 120 °C for 12 h and 700 °C pyrolysis temperature, respectively. GDE with CFRH and CFAH supported platinum showed excellent ECSA retention of about 60–70% during accelerated degradation testing under half-cell conditions compared to only 13% for GDE with Pt/CVulcan reference material.

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