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1.
iScience ; 23(12): 101783, 2020 Dec 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33294791

RESUMO

Understanding the relationships between porous transport layer (PTL) morphology and oxygen removal is essential to improve the polymer electrolyte water electrolyzer (PEWE) performance. Operando X-ray computed tomography and machine learning were performed on a model electrolyzer at different water flow rates and current densities to determine how these operating conditions alter oxygen transport in the PTLs. We report a direct observation of oxygen taking preferential pathways through the PTL, regardless of the water flow rate or current density (1-4 A/cm2). Oxygen distribution in the PTL had a periodic behavior with period of 400 µm. A computational fluid dynamics model was used to predict oxygen distribution in the PTL showing periodic oxygen front. Observed oxygen distribution is due to low in-plane PTL tortuosity and high porosity enabling merging of oxygen bubbles in the middle of the PTL and also due to aerophobicity of the layer.

2.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(47): 52701-52712, 2020 Nov 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33183003

RESUMO

We present ultralow Ir-loaded (ULL) proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer (PEMWE) cells that can produce enough hydrogen to largely decarbonize the global natural gas, transportation, and electrical storage sectors by 2050, using only half of the annual global Ir production for PEMWE deployment. This represents a significant improvement in PEMWE's global potential, enabled by careful control of the anode catalyst layer (CL), including its mesostructure and catalyst dispersion. Using commercially relevant membranes (Nafion 117), cell materials, electrocatalysts, and fabrication techniques, we achieve at peak a 250× improvement in Ir mass activity over commercial PEMWEs. An optimal Ir loading of 0.011 mgIr cm-2 operated at an Ir-specific power of ∼100 MW kgIr-1 at a cell potential of ∼1.66 V versus RHE (85% higher heating value efficiency). We further evaluate the performance limitations within the ULL regime and offer new insights and guidance in CL design relevant to the broader energy conversion field.

3.
Nat Nanotechnol ; 14(11): 1071-1074, 2019 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31611657

RESUMO

We demonstrate the translation of a low-cost, non-precious metal cobalt phosphide (CoP) catalyst from 1 cm2 lab-scale experiments to a commercial-scale 86 cm2 polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser. A two-step bulk synthesis was adopted to produce CoP on a high-surface-area carbon support that was readily integrated into an industrial PEM electrolyser fabrication process. The performance of the CoP was compared head to head with a platinum-based PEM under the same operating conditions (400 psi, 50 °C). CoP was found to be active and stable, operating at 1.86 A cm-2 for >1,700 h of continuous hydrogen production while providing substantial material cost savings relative to platinum. This work illustrates a potential pathway for non-precious hydrogen evolution catalysts developed in past decades to translate to commercial applications.

4.
Annu Rev Chem Biomol Eng ; 10: 219-239, 2019 06 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31173524

RESUMO

Hydrogen is an important part of any discussion on sustainability and reduction in emissions across major energy sectors. In addition to being a feedstock and process gas for many industrial processes, hydrogen is emerging as a fuel alternative for transportation applications. Renewable sources of hydrogen are therefore required to increase in capacity. Low-temperature electrolysis of water is currently the most mature method for carbon-free hydrogen generation and is reaching relevant scales to impact the energy landscape. However, costs still need to be reduced to be economical with traditional hydrogen sources. Operating cost reductions are enabled by the recent availability of low-cost sources of renewable energy, and the potential exists for a large reduction in capital cost withmaterial and manufacturing optimization. This article focuses on the current status and development needs by component for the low-temperature electrolysis options.


Assuntos
Eletrólise/métodos , Hidrogênio/química , Energia Renovável , Resinas de Troca de Ânions/química , Catálise , Eletrólise/instrumentação , Hidróxidos/química , Membranas Artificiais , Porosidade , Compostos de Potássio/química , Temperatura
5.
Nat Commun ; 8(1): 1449, 2017 11 13.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29129907

RESUMO

The selection of oxide materials for catalyzing the oxygen evolution reaction in acid-based electrolyzers must be guided by the proper balance between activity, stability and conductivity-a challenging mission of great importance for delivering affordable and environmentally friendly hydrogen. Here we report that the highly conductive nanoporous architecture of an iridium oxide shell on a metallic iridium core, formed through the fast dealloying of osmium from an Ir25Os75 alloy, exhibits an exceptional balance between oxygen evolution activity and stability as quantified by the activity-stability factor. On the basis of this metric, the nanoporous Ir/IrO2 morphology of dealloyed Ir25Os75 shows a factor of ~30 improvement in activity-stability factor relative to conventional iridium-based oxide materials, and an ~8 times improvement over dealloyed Ir25Os75 nanoparticles due to optimized stability and conductivity, respectively. We propose that the activity-stability factor is a key "metric" for determining the technological relevance of oxide-based anodic water electrolyzer catalysts.

6.
Nat Mater ; 16(9): 925-931, 2017 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28714982

RESUMO

The growing need to store increasing amounts of renewable energy has recently triggered substantial R&D efforts towards efficient and stable water electrolysis technologies. The oxygen evolution reaction (OER) occurring at the electrolyser anode is central to the development of a clean, reliable and emission-free hydrogen economy. The development of robust and highly active anode materials for OER is therefore a great challenge and has been the main focus of research. Among potential candidates, perovskites have emerged as promising OER electrocatalysts. In this study, by combining a scalable cutting-edge synthesis method with time-resolved X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements, we were able to capture the dynamic local electronic and geometric structure during realistic operando conditions for highly active OER perovskite nanocatalysts. Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3-δ as nano-powder displays unique features that allow a dynamic self-reconstruction of the material's surface during OER, that is, the growth of a self-assembled metal oxy(hydroxide) active layer. Therefore, besides showing outstanding performance at both the laboratory and industrial scale, we provide a fundamental understanding of the operando OER mechanism for highly active perovskite catalysts. This understanding significantly differs from design principles based on ex situ characterization techniques.

7.
Nat Mater ; 15(2): 197-203, 2016 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26618882

RESUMO

Three of the fundamental catalytic limitations that have plagued the electrochemical production of hydrogen for decades still remain: low efficiency, short lifetime of catalysts and a lack of low-cost materials. Here, we address these three challenges by establishing and exploring an intimate functional link between the reactivity and stability of crystalline (CoS2 and MoS2) and amorphous (CoSx and MoSx) hydrogen evolution catalysts. We propose that Co(2+) and Mo(4+) centres promote the initial discharge of water (alkaline solutions) or hydronium ions (acid solutions). We establish that although CoSx materials are more active than MoSx they are also less stable, suggesting that the active sites are defects formed after dissolution of Co and Mo cations. By combining the higher activity of CoSx building blocks with the higher stability of MoSx units into a compact and robust CoMoSx chalcogel structure, we are able to design a low-cost alternative to noble metal catalysts for efficient electrocatalytic production of hydrogen in both alkaline and acidic environments.

8.
Faraday Discuss ; 176: 125-33, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25490237

RESUMO

Understanding the functional links between the stability and reactivity of oxide materials during the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is one key to enabling a vibrant hydrogen economy capable of competing with fossil fuel-based technologies. In this work, by focusing on the surface chemistry of monometallic Ru oxide in acidic and alkaline environments, we found that the kinetics of the OER are almost entirely controlled by the stability of the Ru surface atoms. The same activity-stability relationship was found for more complex, polycrystalline and single-crystalline SrRuO(3) thin films in alkaline solutions. We propose that the electrochemical transformation of either water (acidic solutions) or hydroxyl ions (alkaline solutions) to di-oxygen molecules takes place at defect sites that are inherently present on every electrode surface. During the OER, surface defects are also created by the corrosion of the Ru ions. The dissolution is triggered by the potential-dependent change in the valence state (n) of Ru: from stable but inactive Ru(4+) to unstable but active Ru(n>4+). We conclude that if the oxide is stable then it is completely inactive for the OER. A practical consequence is that the best materials for the OER should balance stability and activity in such a way that the dissolution rate of the oxide is neither too fast nor too slow.

9.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 53(51): 14016-21, 2014 Dec 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25297010

RESUMO

The methods used to improve catalytic activity are well-established, however elucidating the factors that simultaneously control activity and stability is still lacking, especially for oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts. Here, by studying fundamental links between the activity and stability of well-characterized monometallic and bimetallic oxides, we found that there is generally an inverse relationship between activity and stability. To overcome this limitation, we developed a new synthesis strategy that is based on tuning the near-surface composition of Ru and Ir elements by surface segregation, thereby resulting in the formation of a nanosegregated domain that balances the stability and activity of surface atoms. We demonstrate that a Ru0.5Ir0.5 alloy synthesized by using this method exhibits four-times higher stability than the best Ru-Ir oxygen evolution reaction materials, while still preserving the same activity.

10.
Nat Commun ; 5: 4191, 2014 Jun 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24939393

RESUMO

In developing cost-effective complex oxide materials for the oxygen evolution reaction, it is critical to establish the missing links between structure and function at the atomic level. The fundamental and practical implications of the relationship on any oxide surface are prerequisite to the design of new stable and active materials. Here we report an intimate relationship between the stability and reactivity of oxide catalysts in exploring the reaction on strontium ruthenate single-crystal thin films in alkaline environments. We determine that for strontium ruthenate films with the same conductance, the degree of stability, decreasing in the order (001)>(110)>(111), is inversely proportional to the activity. Both stability and reactivity are governed by the potential-induced transformation of stable Ru(4+) to unstable Ru(n>4+). This ordered(Ru(4+))-to-disordered(Ru(n>4+)) transition and the development of active sites for the reaction are determined by a synergy between electronic and morphological effects.

11.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 5(14): 2474-8, 2014 Jul 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26277818

RESUMO

In the present study, we used a surface-science approach to establish a functional link between activity and stability of monometallic oxides during the OER in acidic media. We found that the most active oxides (Au ≪ Pt < Ir < Ru ≪ Os) are, in fact, the least stable (Au ≫ Pt > Ir > Ru ≫ Os) materials. We suggest that the relationships between stability and activity are controlled by both the nobility of oxides as well as by the density of surface defects. This functionality is governed by the nature of metal cations and the potential transformation of a stable metal cation with a valence state of n = +4 to unstable metal cation with n > +4. A practical consequence of such a close relationship between activity and stability is that the best materials for the OER should balance stability and activity in such a way that the dissolution rate is neither too fast nor too slow.

12.
Nat Chem ; 5(4): 300-6, 2013 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23511418

RESUMO

The development of hydrogen-based energy sources as viable alternatives to fossil-fuel technologies has revolutionized clean energy production using fuel cells. However, to date, the slow rate of the hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) in alkaline environments has hindered advances in alkaline fuel cell systems. Here, we address this by studying the trends in the activity of the HOR in alkaline environments. We demonstrate that it can be enhanced more than fivefold compared to state-of-the-art platinum catalysts. The maximum activity is found for materials (Ir and Pt0.1Ru0.9) with an optimal balance between the active sites that are required for the adsorption/dissociation of H2 and for the adsorption of hydroxyl species (OHad). We propose that the more oxophilic sites on Ir (defects) and PtRu material (Ru atoms) electrodes facilitate the adsorption of OHad species. Those then react with the hydrogen intermediates (Had) that are adsorbed on more noble surface sites.


Assuntos
Conservação de Recursos Energéticos , Fontes Geradoras de Energia , Hidrogênio/química , Radical Hidroxila/química , Adsorção , Catálise , Eletroquímica , Eletrodos , Ouro/química , Irídio/química , Oxirredução , Platina/química , Rutênio/química
13.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 46(12): 2052-4, 2010 Mar 28.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20221489

RESUMO

A novel, integral, tri-layered, proton conducting membrane SOFC was readily fabricated for simultaneous conversion of ethane at 650-700 degrees C to electrical power and ethylene with high selectivity.

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