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New approach in catalyst design for electrochemical energy conversion


The results confirmed that nano-scale mass transfer channels, which can be in situ constructed during the catalyst synthesis, can boost the catalytic activity of the catalyst although the active sites in the catalyst was decreasedWeiwei Cai

Researchers from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China, with colleagues from Liaocheng University and Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, have designed a strategy for facile selectively etching to ensure in situ adjusting of the mass transfer structure of a cobalt-iron (CoFe) catalyst for both oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The graphene-encapsulated CoFe nanoclusters with relatively few graphene layers were etched to form hollow graphene cages and acted as mass transfer channels during electrocatalytic processes.

As reported in the journal Materials Today Energy [Wu et al. Mater. Today Energy (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.mtener.2020.100438], CoFe encapsulated in a graphene cage was found to be highly active as a bi-functional catalyst, and that this mass transfer structure would have a major impact on the performance of zinc-air batteries (ZAB), which also exhibited three times the power density of noble metal catalysts. In addition, this metal-air battery could be a useful secondary battery technology due to its significant energy density.

In electrochemical energy conversion, mass transfer structure design has usually been conducted during fabrication of the electrode. However, by adjusting the acidic treatment condition, CoFe nanoclusters with relatively few graphene layers coated were selectively etched to form hollow graphene cages. These nanoclusters acted as catalytic active sites while the graphene cages acted as mass transfer channels during the ORR/OER processes.

Since the performance of energy conversion devices such as metal-air batteries, electrolyzed water and fuel cells are affected not only by catalyst activity but also the mass transfer structure of the electrodes, the team wanted to optimize the mass transfer structure in nano-scale during the catalyst design.

A problem with such catalysts used in the air-electrode, however, is that ZABs can underperform in terms of both power density and stability, so these new cost-effective catalysts with carbon-based materials offer the most promising electrocatalytic performance. As team leader Weiwei Cai said, “The results confirmed that nano-scale mass transfer channels, which can be in situ constructed during the catalyst synthesis, can boost the catalytic activity of the catalyst although the active sites in the catalyst was decreased”.

The team now hopes to demonstrate how hierarchical mass transfer channels can be designed and fabricated during the catalyst design to combine with the micro-scale mass transfer channels, which can be controllably designed during the electrode fabrication. They also hope to improve the power density and stability by exploring other active sites than CoFe for the bi-functional catalyst development with facilely constructed mass transfer structure.

Design process for mass transfer structure of a CoFe catalyst
Design process for mass transfer structure of a CoFe catalyst
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“The results confirmed that nano-scale mass transfer channels, which can be in situ constructed during the catalyst synthesis, can boost the catalytic activity of the catalyst although the active sites in the catalyst was decreased”Weiwei Cai

Researchers from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan, China, with colleagues from Liaocheng University and Chongqing University of Arts and Sciences, have designed a strategy for facile selectively etching to ensure in situ adjusting of the mass transfer structure of a cobalt-iron (CoFe) catalyst for both oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The graphene-encapsulated CoFe nanoclusters with relatively few graphene layers were etched to form hollow graphene cages and acted as mass transfer channels during electrocatalytic processes.

As reported in the journal Materials Today Energy [Wu et al. Mater. Today Energy (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.mtener.2020.100438], CoFe encapsulated in a graphene cage was found to be highly active as a bi-functional catalyst, and that this mass transfer structure would have a major impact on the performance of zinc-air batteries (ZAB), which also exhibited three times the power density of noble metal catalysts. In addition, this metal-air battery could be a useful secondary battery technology due to its significant energy density.

In electrochemical energy conversion, mass transfer structure design has usually been conducted during fabrication of the electrode. However, by adjusting the acidic treatment condition, CoFe nanoclusters with relatively few graphene layers coated were selectively etched to form hollow graphene cages. These nanoclusters acted as catalytic active sites while the graphene cages acted as mass transfer channels during the ORR/OER processes.

Since the performance of energy conversion devices such as metal-air batteries, electrolyzed water and fuel cells are affected not only by catalyst activity but also the mass transfer structure of the electrodes, the team wanted to optimize the mass transfer structure in nano-scale during the catalyst design.

A problem with such catalysts used in the air-electrode, however, is that ZABs can underperform in terms of both power density and stability, so these new cost-effective catalysts with carbon-based materials offer the most promising electrocatalytic performance. As team leader Weiwei Cai said, “The results confirmed that nano-scale mass transfer channels, which can be in situ constructed during the catalyst synthesis, can boost the catalytic activity of the catalyst although the active sites in the catalyst was decreased”.

The team now hopes to demonstrate how hierarchical mass transfer channels can be designed and fabricated during the catalyst design to combine with the micro-scale mass transfer channels, which can be controllably designed during the electrode fabrication. They also hope to improve the power density and stability by exploring other active sites than CoFe for the bi-functional catalyst development with facilely constructed mass transfer structure.

Design process for mass transfer structure of a CoFe catalyst
Design process for mass transfer structure of a CoFe catalyst

Source: https://www.materialstoday.com/energy/news/catalyst-for-electrochemical-energy-conversion/

Metal

CAAM: Auto vehicles sales in China down 3.9 percent in Oct 1-20

In the October 1-20 period of the current year, sales of automotive vehicles of 11 major automakers in China amounted to 1.027 million units.

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In the October 1-20 period of the current year, output and sales of automotive vehicles of 11 major automakers in China amounted to 1.215 million units and 1.027 million units, up 6.9 percent and down 3.9 percent year on year, respectively, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

In particular, passenger vehicle output and sales totaled 1.039 million units and 925,000 units, up 2.8 percent and down 5.3 percent year on year. Meanwhile, commercial vehicle output and sales reached 176,000 units and 101,000 units, up 40 percent and 11.5 percent year on year.

Source: https://www.steelorbis.com/steel-news/latest-news/caam-auto-vehicles-sales-in-china-down-39-percent-in-oct-1_20-1169895.htm

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Metal

China emerges as India’s top steel export destination in H1 2020-21, after Vietnam

China emerged as India’s biggest steel export destination during the first half of the fiscal year 2020-21 (April-September) with 1.9 million mt.

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China emerged as India’s biggest steel export destination during the first half of the fiscal year 2020-21 (April-September) with 1.9 million mt shipped, up from 2,500 mt during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, according to data of the Joint Plant Committee (JPC) under India’s steel ministry, the sole official compiler of industry data.

During the period, China replaced Vietnam as India’s biggest steel export destination. Indian exports of steel to Vietnam during the first half of the current fiscal were estimated at 1.61 million mt, up from 1.04 million mt during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year, JPC data showed.

In H1 FY 2020-21, India also emerged as a net exporter of steel, exporting 6.54 million mt, up 66.3 percent year on year. Of the total Indian steel exports, hot rolled coil (HRC) formed the bulk of the volume – up to 70 percent.

Imports during the period came to 1.99 million mt, down 50.6 percent year on year.

However, in September Indian steel exports showed signs of tapering off on the back of rising domestic demand from key industries like automotive and consumer durables.

The JPC data show that exports in September declined by 16.8 percent from August and 15.2 percent from September 2019. Total September exports were recorded by JPC at 864,000 mt.

Source: https://www.steelorbis.com/steel-news/latest-news/china-emerges-as-indias-top-steel-export-destination-in-h1-2020_21-after-vietnam-1169891.htm

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Metal

India’s Tata Metaliks resumes BF operations after maintenance shutdown

India’s Tata Metaliks Limited (TML) has resumed operations of its blast furnace from today.

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India’s Tata Metaliks Limited (TML) has resumed operations of its blast furnace from today, according to a regulatory filing of the company on Monday, October 26.

Last month, TML had shut down this blast furnace at its steel mill in West Bengal for planned repair and maintenance, including hearth profiling.

Tata Metaliks has a 300,000 metric ton per year pig iron production facility along with a 200,000 metric ton per year ductile pipe making facility and is also building a 15 MW captive thermal power plant.

Source: https://www.steelorbis.com/steel-news/latest-news/indias-tata-metaliks-resumes-bf-operations-after-maintenance-shutdown-1169882.htm

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