oa South African Journal of Chemical Engineering - Nitrogen-doped carbon materials for high performing lithium air batteries - research

Volume 25 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1026-9185



The development of lithium air batteries is attractive because metallic anodes and oxygenbased cathodes are used. Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) at the cathode in lithium air batteries is important in the control of electrolytic cell performance. However, even with the aid of platinum-based and commonly used noble metal catalysts, ORR still shows slow kinetics. In this current study, nitrogen-doped carbon materials were prepared by the post doping technique in which NH3 and N2 gas were used as nitrogen precursors. Additionally, ball-milling was performed on the materials to increase porosity. Morphological, geometric and crystallographic characteristics of all the developed carbon materials were examined by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Xeray diffraction (XRD) spectroscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface areas analysis method, Xeray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy were employed to examine the chemical composition and nitrogen doping. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and rotating ringedisk electrode (RRDE) techniques were used to study electrocatalytic properties of the materials. Results obtained revealed that synthesized and ball-milled N-doped carbon black, (MN CB), N-doped Ketjen Black (MN KB), Carbon Black and Ketjen Black blend (MN B) show pure, mesoporous structures with higher surface area than undoped samples. In comparison with commercial platinum alloy (Pt/C), electrocatalytic activity for ORR improved with Nedoping and ball-milling.

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