Better Kinetics with MXene-based Electrocatalysts in Fuel Cells

A cutting-edge research paper on MXene-based electrocatalysts for fuel cells has been published by Dr Lakhveer Singh of the Department of Environmental Sciences. In the journal of Advanced Materials Interfaces, Impact factor 6.14, his paper, titled “Recent Advances on MXene-Based Electrocatalysts toward Oxygen Reduction Reaction: A Focused Review”, has been published in collaboration with Dr S. G. Peera and Dr. T. G. Lee from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering Keimyung University Daegu 42602, Republic of Korea.

Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) takes place in the fuel cells. Improving the kinetics of the reaction would be a major step in improving the efficiency of the fuel cells. Extensive studies have been done to find cathode catalysts that are both highly active and also maintain stability in a corrosive environment. Recent research has been leaning towards 2D materials owing to the larger surface area they provide for catalyst dispersion. MXene-based catalysts have become popular due to their impressive electrical conductivity as well as their thermal and chemical stability.

A summary of Dr Singh’s paper:

MXene, a novel transition metal carbide and/or nitride based two-dimensional material has been gaining a considerable interest in the field of energy storage and conversion, due to their unique layered structure, electronic properties, and surface chemistry, that are beneficial for various electrochemical reactions. Most of the MXenes research done so far is in the field of supercapacitors, batteries, overall water splitting, and other catalytic applications. The research done on fuel cell cathodic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is scarce. There is a need for intensive review on Mxenes. Uniquely, this review article describes the ORR catalysis of MXene based catalysts both in theoretical and experimental view.

In future they plan to work on investigations on theoretical and computational screening to elucidate the ORR mechanism, stability, and strategies for improving the electrocatalytic activity of MXene catalysts; these studies can serve as a guide for experimentalists, especially for selecting optimal catalyst compositions.

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