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CuO Nanoplatelets with Highly Dispersed Ce-Doping Derived from Intercalated Layered Double Hydroxides for Synergistically Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Reaction in Al–Air Batteries

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posted on 2017-09-01, 00:00 authored by Qingshui Hong, Huimin Lu, Junren Wang
Development of highly efficient, low-cost, and durable electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is still a major obstacle that is preventing widespread commercialization of Al–air batteries. Herein, a cost-effective CuCe-layered double hydroxide (CuCe-LDH) was synthesized using a facile and scalable method of separate nucleation/growth steps, followed by an anion exchange process. The CuCe-LDH was successfully used as a precursor for the mass production of Ce-doped CuO nanoplatelets (Cu–Ce–O) as a Pt-free efficient electrocatalyst, which exhibited not only comparable electrocatalytic activity and durability in the ORR test but also a higher discharge voltage plateau when used in Al–air batteries compared to the benchmark Pt/C catalysts. A combination of structural characterizations and electrochemical analyses showed that the high ORR activity of the Cu–Ce–O catalyst was attributed to its high content of active species combined with their synergetic interactions. These results may provide an option for cost-effective production of ORR electrocatalysts at a large scale for practical applications of Al–air cathodes.

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