Ru single atoms and nanoparticles on carbon nanotubes as multifunctional catalysts

Diana M. Fernandes, Mariana Rocha, Camila Rivera-Cárcamo, Philippe Serp, Cristina Freire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade we have witnessed increasing interest in the production of renewable energy and value-added chemicals through sustainable and low-cost technologies where catalysts play a crucial role. Herein, we report the application of a Ru/CNT material containing a mixture of Ru single atoms and Ru nanoparticles as a multifunctional catalyst for both the catalytic reduction of nitroarenes and the electrocatalytic oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER). The catalytic activity of the Ru-CNT material was evaluated in the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NP), 4-nitroaniline (4-NA) and 2-nitrophenol (2-NP) in the presence of sodium borohydride as a reducing agent at room temperature, showing high catalytic activity with normalized rate constants (knor) of 19.0 × 103, 57.7 × 103 and 16.6 × 103 min-1 mmol-1 respectively. Furthermore, the catalyst could be reused in at least 10 cycles without catalytic activity loss, confirming the high stability and robustness of the material. The Ru/CNT material also showed good ORR electrocatalytic activity in alkaline medium with Eonset of 0.76 V vs. RHE, a diffusion-limited current density of 3.89 mA cm-2 and ñO2 of 3.3. In addition, Ru/CNT was remarkably insensitive to methanol with a current retention of 93% (51% for Pt/C) and competitive electrochemical stability of 80% after 20 000 s. Moreover, Ru/CNT was active for the OER with jmax = 29.5 mA cm-2 at E = 1.86 V vs. RHE, η10 = 0.50 V and good stability (η10 changed to 0.01 V and jmax only decreased by ≈12% after 500 cycles).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10250-10260
Number of pages11
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


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