Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2013, Vol. 86, No. 6, pp. 858−862.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2013.
Original Russian Text © M.O. Danilov, I.A. Slobodyanyuk, I.A. Rusetskii, G.Ya. Kolbasov, 2013, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2013, Vol. 86,
No. 6, pp. 917−921.
AND INDUSTRIAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY
Synthesis of Reduced Graphene Oxide
and Its Electrocatalytic Properties
M. O. Danilov, I. A. Slobodyanyuk, I. A. Rusetskii, and G. Ya. Kolbasov
Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
Received April 5, 2013
Abstract—The method of the chemical synthesis of reduced graphene oxide was developed. Sodium hypo-
phosphite and sulﬁ te were used as reducing agents. The formation of reduced graphene oxide was conﬁ rmed by
several methods. Volt-ampere characteristics of electrodes based on reduced graphene oxide were investigated in
an experimental model of an oxygen fuel cell with an alkaline electrolyte. Characteristics of oxygen electrodes
based on reduced graphene oxide were stable over semiannual tests. The resulting reduced graphene oxide is
a promising material for oxygen electrodes of chemical current sources.
Application of air or oxygen electrodes in devices
generating electrical energy is rather promising, as it does
not trouble ecology and makes it possible to save natural
resources such as petroleum and gas. Air and oxygen
electrodes in current sources represent a three-phase
system electrode–electrolyte–gas, where processes of
electric current generation are localized at the boundary
between these phases. The current generated on such a
gas-diffusion electrode depends on the size of the triple
contact zone between these three phases. The electrode
consists of a catalyst and a carrier, and the interaction
between them basically deﬁ nes the value of generated
current strength. At present the most effective catalyst of
oxygen reduction is platinum, however it has an essen-
tial drawback, a high price. There are a great number of
works dedicated to the study of other effective catalysts
. Another important problem concerns a catalytically
active and stable catalyst carrier. The advantage of carbon
nanotubes as carrying agents of catalysts has been shown
in the publications [2–5].
At present owing to the appearance of the new nano-
carbon material graphene a series of works were dedicated
to its studying as an electrode material for lithium-ionic
accumulators  and also as a catalyst carrier in fuel
cells [7–11]. Graphene is a carbon layer of one atom
thickness consisting of condensed six-membered rings.
Carbon atoms in graphene are bound by sp
bonds into a
hexagonal two-dimensional (2D) lattice. Ideal graphene
consists exclusively of six-membered rings; appearance
of defects results in the formation of a quantity of ﬁ ve-
or seven-membered rings in the graphene structure and
hence in the bending of a ﬂ at surface. At the same time the
extended π-system of conjugated aromatic rings makes
graphene rather stable as compared with others nanosub-
jects. Structural features of graphene sheets are those that
charge carriers, having unlimited freedom of transition in
the plane, are closed in the narrow space between “walls”
arranged at the shortest atomic distance from each other
of ~0.3 nm, which results in the appearance of graphene
unique electrophysical characteristics and other unusual
properties (Fig. 1).
In this connection it is of a great interest to study elec-
trochemical properties of reduced graphene oxide (RGO)
used as a catalyst carrier for fuel cell oxygen electrodes
in relation to the method of its production.
Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MCNT) were selected
as precursors, because their structure reminds a set of
graphene layers coiled into a tube. Using a strong oxi-
dizing agent, it is possible “to unzip” nanotube with the