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ACS Nano 2020, 14(1), 21-25

Will Any Crap We Put into Graphene Increase Its Electrocatalytic Effect?

In summary, we demonstrated that bird dropping-treated graphenes indeed make graphene more electrocatalytic than nondoped graphene. Both bird-dropping-decorated graphenes and control nondoped graphenes show the same morphology. Graphenes decorated with bird droppings contain additional N, S, and P in the material. These decorated graphenes exhibit much better electrocatalytic properties toward both oxygen reduction and hydrogen evolution, and, in this case, it can be considered as a potential multifunctional catalyst for both ORR and HER. Because doping graphene with cheap bird droppings produces more electrocatalytic materials than many complex multielemental doping procedures, we do not see any justification for such efforts, and we believe that researchers should focus their energy on other research directions. To conclude in a positive (and a bit satiric) tone, we speculate that the chemical composition of chicken guano can be tailored by feedstock (chick feed), and, therefore, the quality of the resulting doped catalyst can be further improved. We believe that there is potential for the bird dropping-doped graphene for fuel cells and in a hydrogen economy, and we believe that bird droppings can become a high-value-added product such as guano was in the past. One can only hope that with such dramatic advantages, no wars (even trade wars) will be started over bird droppings this time.

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