A powerful catalyst for electrolysis of water that could help harness renewable energy

phys.org | 1/28/2019 | Staff
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Finding and improving renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly important. One strategy to generate energy is breaking water molecules (H2O) apart in an electrochemical reaction known as electrolysis. This process allows us to convert energy from the sun or other renewable sources into chemical energy. However, electrochemically splitting water molecules requires an overpotential—an excess voltage that has to be applied in addition to the theoretical voltage (1.23V vs. reversible hydrogen electrode or RHE) so that the necessary reactions can occur.

Electrocatalysts are materials that, because of their electrical and morphological features, facilitate electrochemical processes. Researchers have been searching for electrocatalysts that can aid in the electrolysis of water, and some of the best catalysts are noble-metal oxides, which are rare and costly. Nickel-based hydroxide (Ni(OH)2) compounds are, fortunately, a better alternative.

Team - Scientists - Profs - Hyunsik - Im

A team of scientists, including Profs. Hyunsik Im and Hyungsang Kim from Dongguk University, intercalated polyoxovanadate (POV) nanoclusters into Ni(OH)2 arranged in ordered layers and found that doing this improves its conducting and morphological properties, which in turn enhances its catalytic activity. They employed a promising method called chemical solution growth (CSG), wherein a highly saturated solution is prepared, and the desired material structure naturally forms...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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