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Multi-Component Fe-Ni Oxide Nanocatalysts for Oxygen Evolution and Methanol Oxidation Reactions under Alkaline Conditions



Stephanie L. Candelaria, Nicholas M. Bedford, Taylor J. Woehl, Nikki S. Rentz, Allison R. Showalter, Svitlana Pylypenko, Bruce A. Bunker, Sungsik Lee, Benjamin Reinhart, Yang Ren, S P. Ertem, E. B. Coughlin, Nicholas A. Sather, James L. Horan, Andrew M. Herring, Lauren F. Greenlee


The electrolysis of water for hydrogen generation and the electrochemical oxidation of alternative fuels such as methanol for alkaline fuel cells often relies on the use of precious metal catalysts. However, the scarcity and high cost of these precious metals lead to the search for earth-abundant alternatives with similar electrocatalytic properties. Among these, nickel-based catalysts show particular promise for their high stability and high activity for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) half-reaction of water electrolysis. Additionally, nickel has exhibited high activity for methanol oxidation, particularly when in the form of a bimetallic catalyst. In this work, bimetallic iron-nickel nanoparticles are synthesized using a multi-step procedure in water under ambient conditions. When compared to monometallic iron and nickel nanoparticles, the Fe-Ni nanoparticles show enhanced catalytic activity for both OER and methanol oxidation under alkaline conditions. At 1 mA/cm2, the overpotential for the monometallic iron and nickel nanoparticles was 421 mV and 476 mV, respectively, while the bimetallic Fe-Ni nanoparticles had a greatly reduced overpotential of only 256 mV. Possible explanations for these differences in catalytic activity are explored through several characterization methods and it is shown that the level of structural disorder and the formation of specific phases of iron and nickel oxides during synthesis likely contribute. The effects of several testing parameters on the electrochemical behavior of the nanoparticles are also explored.
ACS Catalysis


Candelaria, S. , Bedford, N. , Woehl, T. , Rentz, N. , Showalter, A. , Pylypenko, S. , Bunker, B. , Lee, S. , Reinhart, B. , Ren, Y. , Ertem, S. , Coughlin, E. , Sather, N. , Horan, J. , Herring, A. and Greenlee, L. (2016), Multi-Component Fe-Ni Oxide Nanocatalysts for Oxygen Evolution and Methanol Oxidation Reactions under Alkaline Conditions, ACS Catalysis, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created November 29, 2016, Updated March 8, 2019