Tofu-derived nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon materials as metal-free catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction

  • Li MuEmail author
  • Runwei Wang
  • Chao Tang
Original Article


Nitrogen dope mesoporous carbon materials are widely used in the designing of oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts. How to prepare nitrogen-doped carbons (NC) with broad mass transfer path and preserve abundant ORR active nitrogen functionalities is still a great challenge. Here, nitrogen-doped mesoporous carbon materials are obtained through simply pyrolysis a mixture of renewable biomass (tofu) and ZnCl2. Owing to the effective chemical activation effect during carbonization, the optimal NC could present high porosity (high surface area of 1062 m2 g−1, large pore volume of 0.97 cm3 g−1) and high nitrogen content (7.74 wt%). Benefit from the rich of nitrogen functionalities to create abundant active sites and the well-developed mesoporous structure (high mesopore area 825 m2 g−1 and dual mesopore system with mesopore in both 3 nm and 30 nm) to guarantee fast mass transport and electron transfer, the obtained NC could serve as fine metal-free ORR catalyst, accelerating oxygen reduction reaction via high efficient 4e oxygen reduction pathway. And more important, NC showed higher stability than commercial Pt/C (20 wt%), which highlight its great potential in the designing of electrocatalyst.


Nitrogen dope carbon Mesoporous materials Biomass ZnCl2 activation Oxygen reduction reaction 


Funding information

This study received funding from the Education Department of Jilin Province (2016299).

Supplementary material

13399_2019_378_MOESM1_ESM.docx (704 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 704 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food Science and EngineeringChangchun UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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