Copper-based electrocatalyst derived from a copper chelate polymer for oxygen reduction reaction in alkaline solutions

Ridwan P. Putra, Yudai Samejima, Seiichiro Nakabayashi, Hideyuki Horino, Izabela I. Rzeznicka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Searching for a non-noble metal electrocatalyst that could efficiently catalyze oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solutions is of great importance for improving the performance and costs of alkaline fuel cells and metal-air batteries. In this work, copper oxide (Cu2O) nanostructures were obtained via an electrochemical transformation of a copper dithioxamide Cu(dto) chelate polymer in 1 M KOH solution. To improve conductivity and dispersion of Cu2O, the electrochemical transformation took place in the acetylene black matrix. The resultant Cu2O/C nanocomposite was grown on a glassy carbon electrode and its electrocatalytic activity towards ORR in 1 M KOH was studied using cyclic voltammetry (CV) and rotating disk electrode (RDE) linear sweep voltammetry (LSV). The ORR activity was observed in O2-saturated KOH solutions. The value of the half-wave potential (E1/2) was estimated to be 0.72 V vs. RHE, which is close to the E1/2 value of the benchmark 40 % Pt/C catalysts. The electron transfer number, n, was found to be 3, suggesting that in addition to the direct 4e reduction process, the 2e reduction processes also occur, mostly on the carbon matrix. The results indicate that the Cu(dto)-derived Cu2O/C nanocomposite may provide a cost-effective alternative to noble metals ORR electrocatalyst due to its better mass activity and stability in alkaline solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-364
Number of pages5
JournalCatalysis Today
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 1


  • Alkaline
  • Chelate polymer
  • Copper oxide
  • Dithioxamide
  • Electrocatalyst
  • Metal-air batteries
  • Oxygen reduction reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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