Paper Title
Ni-Nanoparticle Encapsulated Hollow Carbon Spheres as Electrocatalysts

The present study evaluates the synthesis by solvo-thermal method and electrocatalytic activity of nickel nano- particles encapsulated in hollow carbon sphere, in hydrogen and oxygen evolution reaction in PEM water electrolyzer. The XRD pattern have ascertained the formation of nickel metal with different planes in face centered cubic (fcc) and hexagonal closed pack (hcp) form. SEM and TEM images have confirmed the nickel nano-particles with diameter of 10–50 nm inside the 0.2 mm sized hollow carbon spheres. The BET surface area values gradually decreased with greater encapsulation of nickel; although the electrochemical active surface area (ECSA) values have been calculated as quite higher. It confirms the well dispersion of nickel in the materials and induces their electrocatalytic performance through the active surface sites. The cyclic voltammetric studies have evaluated hydrogen desorption peaks as five times more intense in nickel encapsulated materials, in comparison to the pure hollow carbon spheres. The anodic peak current density value has reached the highest level of 1.9 A cm-2 for HCSNi10, which gradually decreases with lesser amount of nickel in the electrocatalysts. These electrocatalysts have been proved electrochemically stable during their usage for 48 h long duration under potentiostatic condition. Keywords - Hollow Carbon Spheres, Ni-Nanoparticle, Electrocatalysts, Hydrogen and Oxygen production