Pierre-Alexandre Pascone

Supervisors: Dr. Jean-Luc Meunier & Dr. Dimitrios Berk buy an essay paper


One of the goals in catalyst research for Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is to find a cost-efficient alternative to platinum. The major requirement of the platinum comes from the catalyst layer used for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). Functionalized carbon nanomaterials present themselves as good candidates for the replacement of platinum due to their low cost, excellent electrical conductivity, and chemical resistance to acidic and basic environments. Graphene nanoflakes (GNFs), nanopowders consisting of stacked graphene sheets, have high crystallinity and large crystalline lengths, which promote stability within the catalyst support structure through better corrosion resistance.

GNFs are produced in methane plasma with different levels of nitrogen functionalization. The GNFs will be used as a support system for atomic iron to synthesize a non-noble catalyst. Different iron incorporation methods will be investigated with all successful methods leading to a complete characterization of the catalyst structure. The performance of the catalyst with respect to the ORR in a PEMFC will also be determined through activity and stability experiments.

Educational Background:

Ph.D in Chemical Engineering,
McGill University, Montreal, QC,
May 2013 – Present

Master of Chemical Engineering: Synthesis, Characterization, and Performance of Graphene Nanoflakes as a Non-Noble Metal Catalyst in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells.
McGill University, Montreal, QC
January 2011 – April 2013

Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)
McGill University, Montreal, QC
September 2007- December 2010


Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award: 2015

Vadasz Doctoral Fellowship: 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016

Eugenie Ulmer Lamothe Graduate Award: 2014-2015, 2015-2016

TechConnect Innovation Award: 2013

Hydro-Quebec Doctoral Bursary: 2013-2014

McGill Engineering Doctoral Award: 2013 – 2016

Provost’s Graduate Fellowship Award: 2011

Eugenie Ulmer Lamothe Scholarship: 2010


PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. Influence of iron on structure and catalyst activity of nitrogen-functionalized graphene nanoflakes, Materials Today Communications, Volume 9, 9-15 (December 2016)

PA Pascone
, J de Campos, JL Meunier, D Berk. Iron incorporation on graphene nanoflakes for the synthesis of a non-noble metal fuel cell catalyst, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Volume 193, 9-15 (September 2016).

U Legrand, NYM Gonzalez, PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. Synthesis and in-situ oxygen functionalization of deposited graphene nanoflakes for nanofluid generation, Carbon, Volume 102, 216-223 (June 2016). 

SJ Amirfakhri, PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. Fe-N-doped graphene as a superior catalyst for H202 reduction reaction in neutral solution, Journal of Catalysis, Volume 323, 55-64 (March 2015). 

PA Pascone, D Berk, JL Meunier. A stable and active iron catalyst supported on graphene nano-flakes for the oxygen reduction reaction in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, Catalysis Today, Volume 211, 162-167 (August 2013).


JL Meunier, D Berk, U Legrand, NYM Gonzalez, PA Pascone. Oxygen functionalized graphene nanoflake, a stable and surfactant-free graphene nanoflake nanofluid and method from making same. U.S. Patent App. 62/166,375

JL Meunier, D Berk, RV Pristavita, D Binny, NYM Gonzalez, PA Pascone. Fabrication and functionalization of a pure non-noble metal catalyst structure showing time stability for large scale applications. U.S. Patent App. 14/408,781


PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. High-nitrogen graphene nanoflakes with iron functionalities: a viable catalyst for PEMFCs, Applied Nanotechnology and Nanoscience International Conference (ANNIC 2016), Barcelona, Spain, 9-11 November 2016.

PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. PEM Fuel Cell Activity/Stability Characterization using Carbon Nanoflakes as a Non-Noble Catalyst Support, 62nd Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference (CSChE 2012), Vancouver, Canada, 14-17 Oct. 2012.

PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. A Stable and Active Non-Noble Catalyst based on Graphene Nanoflakes for Fuel Cell, 2012 International Symposium on Plasmas for Catalyses and Energy Materials (ISPCEM-2012), Tianjin, China, 21-24 Sept. 2012.

M Tapia-Rosales, PA Pascone, JL Sosa-Sanchez, D Berk, NYM Gonzalez, J Martinez-Juarez. N-doped graphene nano Flakes decorated with iron and cobalt phthalocyanines for an enhanced oxygen reduction reaction in fuel cells, 25th International Materials Research Congress (IMRC XXV), Cancun, Mexico, 14-19 August 2016. 

PA Pascone
, JL Meunier, D Berk. Characterization of high-nitrogen functionalized graphene nanoflake catalysts produced by thermal plasma decomposition
, 22nd International Symposium on Plasma Chemistry (ISPC 22), Antwerp, Belgium, 5-10 July 2015.

U. Legrand, PA Pascone, JL Meunier, D Berk. Fonctionnalisation des Nanoflocons de Graphène par Plasma Thermique et ses ApplicationsColloque du Plasma-Quebec, Montreal, Canada, 3-5 June 2015.

U. Legrand, JL Meunier, J Rossignol, PA Pascone. Capteurs de gaz à transduction micro-onde utilisant des nanoparticules de carbone, Colloque du Plasma-Quebec, Montreal, Canada, 22-24 May 2013.

Contact Info:

Email: pierrealexandre.pascone@mail.mcgill.ca

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