Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A breakthrough in acidic water electrolysis via ruthenium-based catalysts

17.04.2019

Hydrogen fuel, with the advantages of clean, renewable and of high fuel efficiency, is seen as the "ultimate fuel" and getting more attention around the world. Water electrolysis is an ideal way to produce hydrogen, yet it requires active and stable catalysts which make this process more efficient and cheaper. Without suitable catalysts, turning water into fuel only seems too good to be true.

Fortunately, a recent study is bringing this dream closer. Professor WU Yuen's team from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) successfully prepared a kind of Ruthenium (Ru) single atom alloy catalyst, which greatly accelerates the process of water eletrolysis with lower overpotential (220 mV).


In acidic electrolyte environment, water molecules was adsorbed on the active site Ru atom, and then single atom Ru catalyst boosts acidic water electrolysis producing oxygen. Purple, blue, red and white balls represents Ru, Pt, O and H atoms, respectively.

Credit: WU Yuen

By surface defect engineering to capture and stabilize single atoms, the group successfully prepared the single-atom catalyst. It is capable of delivering a 90 mV lower overpotential to reach a current density of 10 mA/cm2, and an order of magnitude with longer lifetime than that of commercial RuO2.

In this study, researchers constructed a series of alloy-supported Ru1 using different PtCu alloys through sequential acid etching and electrochemical leaching. They also found a volcano relation between oxygen evolution reaction (OER) activity and the lattice constant of the PtCu alloys.

Density functional theory investigations reveal that the compressive strain of the Pt-skin shell engineers the electronic structure of the Ru1, allowing optimized binding of oxygen species and better resistance to over-oxidation and dissolution.

Compared with Iridium-based systems, which have better dissolution resistance, Ru-based ones have more abundant reserves and have been evaluated to be a more active OER catalyst due to its lower overpotential.

This research makes hydrogen production through water electrolysis easier and more efficient, and allows people to see the great potential of hydrogen as an alternative new energy in the future.

Nevertheless, till now, the stability problem of catalyst hasn't been completely resolved. "There are still many explorations left to further improve the reaction system and we are going to continue designing experiments and trying to find the best way to boost activity and stability of catalysts." said Ph.D. YAO.

###

The results were published on Nature Catalysis as cover story.

Media Contact

Jane FAN Qiong
englishnews@ustc.edu.cn
86-551-636-07280

http://en.ustc.edu.cn 

Jane FAN Qiong | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41929-019-0246-2

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Autophagy: Scientists discover novel role for self-recycling process in the brain
30.03.2020 | Universität zu Köln

nachricht New metabolism discovered in bacteria
30.03.2020 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicist from Hannover Develops New Photon Source for Tap-proof Communication

An international team with the participation of Prof. Dr. Michael Kues from the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD at Leibniz University Hannover has developed a new method for generating quantum-entangled photons in a spectral range of light that was previously inaccessible. The discovery can make the encryption of satellite-based communications much more secure in the future.

A 15-member research team from the UK, Germany and Japan has developed a new method for generating and detecting quantum-entangled photons at a wavelength of...

Im Focus: Junior scientists at the University of Rostock invent a funnel for light

Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.

The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.

Im Focus: Stem Cells and Nerves Interact in Tissue Regeneration and Cancer Progression

Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.

Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....

Im Focus: Artificial solid fog material creates pleasant laser light

An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications

With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...

Im Focus: Cross-technology communication in the Internet of Things significantly simplified

Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.

Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020” takes place over the internet

26.03.2020 | Event News

Most significant international Learning Analytics conference will take place – fully online

23.03.2020 | Event News

MOC2020: Fraunhofer IOF organises international micro-optics conference in Jena

03.03.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages

30.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Exeter researchers discover a novel chemistry to protect our crops from fungal disease

30.03.2020 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Autophagy: Scientists discover novel role for self-recycling process in the brain

30.03.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>