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ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering 2018, 6(6), 7432-7441

Layered PtTe2 Matches Electrocatalytic Performance of Pt/C for Oxygen Reduction Reaction with Significantly Lower Toxicity

Oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) is an important reaction for fuel cells and platinum on carbon (Pt/C) is a typical electrocatalyst for ORR in industrial applications. There is a constant search for a replacement for Pt/C with better ORR electrocatalytic performance but thus far, most materials show poorer electrocatalytic activity than Pt/C. Herein, we present electrocatalytical studies of platinum (Pt) dichalcogenides as alternative electrocatalyst for ORR. Interestingly, not only have we found that PtTe2 demonstrates similar electrocatalytic performance for ORR but its toxicity is significantly lower than the toxicity of Pt/C. This study shows that layered transition metal dichalcogenide family members have strong application potential not only for hydrogen evolution reaction (HER - proton reduction), but also, unexpectedly, for oxygen reduction reaction. We demonstrate PtTe2 as a safer alternative electrocatalyst material for ORR. These studies can allow better understanding of the electrocatalytic performance and toxicological profiles of Pt dichalcogenides in comparison to Pt/C to aid future mass application and commercialization in clean energy reactions such as ORR.

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