Nanoscale Adv. 2023 Jul 19;5(17):4368-4401. doi: 10.1039/d3na00074e. eCollection 2023 Aug 24.
With the growing depletion of traditional fossil energy resources and ongoing enhanced awareness of environmental protection, research on electrochemical energy storage techniques like zinc-air batteries is receiving close attention. A significant amount of work on bifunctional catalysts is devoted to improving OER and ORR reaction performance to pave the way for the commercialization of new batteries. Although most traditional energy storage systems perform very well, their durability in practical applications is receiving less attention, with issues such as carbon corrosion, reconstruction during the OER process, and degradation, which can seriously impact long-term use. To be able to design bifunctional materials in a bottom-up approach, a summary of different kinds of carbon materials and transition metal-based materials will be of assistance in selecting a suitable and highly active catalyst from the extensive existing non-precious materials database. Also, the modulation of current carbon materials, aimed at increasing defects and vacancies in carbon and electron distribution in metal-N-C is introduced to attain improved ORR performance of porous materials with fast mass and air transfer. Finally, the reconstruction of catalysts is introduced. The review concludes with comprehensive recommendations for obtaining high-performance and highly-durable catalysts.