Nickel phosphide on Ni foam as anode and peroxymonosulfate as the chemical oxidizer for effective direct urea fuel cell

Xu Zhao , Jingwei Hao , Shen Zhao , Ran Mao


Received March 09, 2021,Revised , Accepted March 10, 2021, Available online March 26, 2021

Volume 33,2021,Pages 84-91

The direct urea fuel cell (DUFC) is a low cost and competitive approach for contemporaneous urine or urea-contaminated wastewater treatment and electricity generation. However, the lack of efficient urea oxidation reaction (UOR) electrocatalysts and suitable electron acceptors remains a challenge for practical applications. Here, we developed a DUFC system using Ni2[email protected] foam as the anode and peroxymonosulfate (PMS) as the chemical oxidizers. The Ni2[email protected] foam anode showed a high oxidation activity for UOR with an onset potential of 0.30 V vs. Ag/AgCl and Tafel slope of 34.4 mV/dec. PMS with high theoretical potential improved the cell voltage to 1.43 V. A power density of DUFC up to 4.91 mW/cm2 was achieved using PMS at room temperature, which was approximately twice as high as using H2O2 (2.38 mW/cm2). NiII/NiIII was the redox active species on the Ni2P anode in the DUFC process, and NiII was electrochemically oxidized to NiIII, which reverted to NiII by urea reduction. When real human urine was used as the fuel, a power density of 4.46 mW/cm2 can be achieved at room temperature. This DUFC with high cell performance showed potential application in urea wastewater treatment.

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