Highly active methanol oxidation electrocatalyst based on 2D NiO porous nanosheets:a combined computational and experimental study

Zhiyong Jia, Sachin R. Rondiya, Russell W. Cross, Cheng Wang, Nelson Y. Dzade, Chuang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures are attractive candidates for electrocatalytic applications owing to their excellent mechanical flexibility and large exposed surfaces. In this work, we present ultra-thin 2D NiO porous nanosheets prepared by a simple, economical and green experimental method (hydrothermal, freeze-drying, and sintering) as efficient electrocatalysts for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application. Benefiting from the ultra-thin 2D framework and porous nanostructure, the 550-NiO catalyst (annealed at 550 °C) exhibit higher current density (12.54mA cm−2) and faster charge transfer in the catalytic process, due to its abundant solid state redox couples (Ni2+/Ni3+= 0.991), suitable oxygen defects and surface coverage of redox species (2.90 × 10−7mol cm−2). First-principles density functional theory calculations were employed to provide mechanistic insights into the methanol oxidation reaction over the NiO catalyst via methanol dehydrogenation to CO involving O–H and C–H bond scissions, and subsequently, CHO oxidation with OH. The most plausible reaction pathway of methanol oxidation on NiO (100) is predicted to be CH3OH → CH3O → CH2O → CHO → CHOOH → COOH → CO2. The reported facile, simple, low-cost and method provides an avenue for the rational design and synthesis of 2D NiO porous nanostructured electrode materials for DMFC and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number139143
JournalElectrochimica Acta
StatePublished - Oct 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry

Cite this