New efficient electrocatalyst to make green hydrogen from water

Gamechanger for clean hydrogen production.


The addition of nickel and cobalt to cheaper, previously ineffective catalysts could enhance their performance, suggests a new study. The new, cheaper, and more efficient electrocatalyst lowers the energy required to split the water and increases hydrogen yield.

This electrocatalyst makes green hydrogen from water that could one day open new avenues for large-scale clean energy production.

Lead researcher, Dr. Guohua Jia from Curtin’s School of Molecular and Life Sciences said, “this discovery could have far-reaching implications for sustainable green fuel generation in the future.”

“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.”

“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.”

“It also opens new avenues for future research in the energy sector, putting Australia at the forefront of renewable and clean energy research and applications.”

“The next steps would be to expand and test the team’s work on a larger scale to test its commercial viability.”

“Only 21% of energy is produced from renewables in the national energy market, which indicates more efforts are required from Australia to make a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.”

“But this shift is only possible when the knowledge from the research sector gets translated into real-world solutions and applications in the energy sector.”

Journal Reference:
  1. Shaghraf Javaid, Xiaomin Xu et al. Ni2+/Co2+ doped Au-Fe7S8 nanoplatelets with exceptionally high oxygen evolution reaction activity. DOI: 10.1016/j.nanoen.2021.106463
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