Electrocatalyst research led by Curtin University has identified a new solution to more effectively split hydrogen from water, with potential commercial use.
amely, the team showed that adding nickel and copper to inexpensive electrocatalysts decreased the energy required to separate hydrogen.
The next step now would be to scale the method up to assess its viability, according to Dr Guohua Jia of Curtin’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences, the paper’s lead researcher.
Our research essentially saw us take two-dimensional iron-sulfur nanocrystals, which don’t usually work as catalysts for the electricity-driven reaction that gets hydrogen from water, and add small amounts of nickel and cobalt ions. When we did this it completely transformed the poor-performing iron-sulfur into a viable and efficient catalyst
said Dr Guohua Jia.
Dr Jia also added that using these more abundant materials is cheaper and more efficient than the current benchmark material, ruthenium oxide, which is derived from ruthenium element and is expensive.
Our findings not only broaden the existing “palette” of possible particle combinations, but also introduce a new, efficient catalyst that may be useful in other applications
Dr Jia concluded.