Molybdenum carbide/Ni nanoparticles-incorporated carbon nanofibers as effective non-precious catalyst for urea electrooxidation reaction

Sci Rep. 2022 Dec 30;12(1):22574. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26975-5.

ABSTRACT

In this study, molybdenum carbide and carbon were investigated as co-catalysts to enhance the nickel electro-activity toward urea oxidation. The proposed electrocatalyst has been formulated in the form of nanofibrous morphology to exploit the advantage of the large axial ratio. Typically, calcination of electropsun polymeric nanofibers composed of poly(vinyl alcohol), molybdenum chloride and nickel acetate under vacuum resulted in producing good morphology molybdenum carbide/Ni NPs-incorporated carbon nanofibers. Investigation on the composition and morphology of the proposed catalyst was achieved by XRD, SEM, XPS, elemental mapping and TEM analyses which concluded formation of molybdenum carbide and nickel nanoparticles embedded in a carbon nanofiber matrix. As an electrocatalyst for urea oxidation, the electrochemical measurements indicated that the proposed composite has a distinct activity when the molybdenum content is optimized. Typically, the nanofibers prepared from electrospun nanofibers containing 25 wt% molybdenum precursor with respect to nickel acetate revealed the best performance. Numerically, using 0.33 M urea in 1.0 M KOH, the obtained current densities were 15.5, 44.9, 52.6, 30.6, 87.9 and 17.6 mA/cm2 for nanofibers prepared at 850 °C from electropsun mats containing 0, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 35 molybdenum chloride, respectively. Study the synthesis temperature of the proposed composite indicated that 1000 °C is the optimum calcination temperature. Kinetic studies indicated that electrooxidation reaction of urea does not follow Arrhenius’s law.

PMID:36585465 | PMC:PMC9803659 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-26975-5

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