Nitrogen-enriched core–shell structured Fe/Fe3C–C (N–Fe/Fe3C@C) nanorods have been successfully synthesized and demonstrated as promising oxygen reduction reaction catalysts with high activity and improved kinetics. The N–Fe/Fe3C@C nanorods, when used as cathode catalysts in microbial fuel cells, outperform the commercial Pt/C-based cathode at the maximum power output. Both N-dopant and core–Fe3C are believed to play key roles for the improved catalytic performance of N–Fe/Fe3C@C. Notably, the N–Fe/Fe3C@C features an ultra-low cost and excellent long-term stability, as discussed by X. L. Feng, Z. He, J. H. Chen and co-workers on page 1399.
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