Porous carbon-rich transition metal modified SiCN ceramic nanocomposites for electrochemical water splitting
ERANEZHUTH WASAN A. 1, MOTZ G. 1
1 University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany
The global energy demand and environmental pollution drives the need for the augmentation of the existing sustainable energy devices. Electrocatalytic devices such as fuel cells have raised considerable interest due to their high energy and power density. On the other hand, electrocatalytic water splitting offers an attractive route to produce high-purity hydrogen and platinum based electrocatalysts have proven to be the best in terms of its oxidation/reduction reactions. Currently, platinum on a carbon support is extensively used for water splitting reactions. However, the use of noble metals increases the overall cost of electrocatalytic devices and platinum based electrocatalysts are also known to be unstable in fuel cell working conditions. Hence, the development of efficient and durable catalysts is critical for the commercialization of fuel cells, as the catalysts' reactivity and durability dictate their ultimate activity and lifetime.
In this work, carbon-rich manganese modified SiCN ceramics were produced from a precursor derived ceramics (PDC) approach. The role of the pyrolysis temperature on the structure of the ceramics and its electrocatalytic activity were investigated. The phase evolution, structural and textural properties of the developed catalytic supports were evaluated with the aid of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and nitrogen adsorption analysis. The ceramic nanocomposites synthesized using PDC approach had mesoporous structure. The electrocatalytic performance was determined using rotating disk electrode method under alkaline conditions.