Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 14, pp 10280–10291 | Cite as

On an easy way to prepare highly efficient Fe/N-co-doped carbon nanotube/nanoparticle composite for oxygen reduction reaction in Al–air batteries

  • Liping Wang
  • Liang Fu
  • Jingsha Li
  • Xianguang Zeng
  • Hualin Xie
  • Xiaobing Huang
  • Haiyan Wang
  • Yougen Tang
Energy materials


Developing an efficient and low-cost oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst is the key to realize the commercialization of metal–air batteries. Fe/N-co-doped carbon materials (Fe–N–C) are regarded as one of the most promising oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts to replace expensive and unstable Pt/C in metal–air batteries. In this work, a new kind of Fe/N-co-doped special carbon nanotube/nanoparticle hybrid catalyst was obtained by using cheap precursors, i.e., ketjenblack EC-600JD (KB), melamine and iron nitrate via a facile high-temperature pyrolysis treatment. The catalyst shows a comparative oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalytic activity and better stability than commercial 20 wt% Pt/C in the same test conditions. The outstanding performance results from the doping of Fe and N, which could effectively increase the active sites. Furthermore, a special bamboo-like carbon nanotube is generated due to the catalysis of Fe source. The catalyst exhibits good performance in Al–air batteries. The maximum power density can reach to 300 mW cm−2 with the cell voltage of about 1 V and the current density of 300 mA cm−2.



This research was financially supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21571189, 21671200 and 21771062), the Hunan Provincial Science and Technology Plan Project (Nos. 2016TP1007 and 2017TP1001), the Opening Project of Material Corrosion and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province of China (Nos. 2016CL04 and 2017CL17), the Innovation-Driven Project of Central South University (No. 2016CXS009) and the Talents Project of Si Chuan University of Science and Engineering (No. 2014RC30).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Chemical Power Sources, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Efficient and Clean Utilization of Manganese Resources, College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringYangtze Normal UniversityFulingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Material Corrosion and Protection Key Laboratory of Sichuan ProvinceZigongPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.College of ScienceHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China

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