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Bio-inspired iron metal–carbon black based nano-electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction

Behnam Seyyedi (Nanotechnology Research Center, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 3 July 2017




The purpose of this paper is to introduce bio-inspired FeN4-S-C black nano-electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in an alkaline medium. The FeN4-S-C derived without pyrolysis of precursors in high temperature is recognized as a new electrocatalyst for the ORR in an alkaline electrolyte. For the proper design of bio-inspired nano-electrocatalyst for the ORR performance, chlorinated iron (II) phthalocyanine nanoparticles were used as templates for achieving the active sites in aqueous KOH by rotating disk electrode methods. The most active FeN4-S-C catalyst exhibited a remarkable ORR activity in the alkaline medium. The objectives of this paper are to investigate the possibility of nanoscale particles size (˜5nm) of electrocatalyst, to achieve four-electron transfer mechanism and to exhibit much superior catalytic stability in measurements. This paper will shed light on bio-inspired FeN4-S-C materials for the ORR catalysis in alkaline fuel cells.


The paper presents a new bio-inspired nano-electrocatalyst for the ORR, which has activity nearby platinum/carbon electrocatalyst. Chlorinated iron phthalocyanine nanoparticles have been used as FeN4 template, which is the key point for the ORR. Bio-inspired nano-electrocatalyst has been fabricated using chlorinated iron phthalocyanine, sodium sulphide and carbon black.


The particles’ size was 5 nm and electron transfer number was 4.

Research limitations/implications

The catalyst that is used in this method should be weighed carefully. In addition, the solvent should be a saturated solution of NaCl in water.

Practical implications

The method provides a simple and practical solution to improving the synthesis of iron-based catalyst for ORR.


The method for the synthesis of bio-inspired electrocatalyst was novel and can find numerous applications in industries, especially as ORR non-precious metal catalyst.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Iran National Science Foundation: INSF.


Seyyedi, B. (2017), "Bio-inspired iron metal–carbon black based nano-electrocatalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 267-275.



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