Development of Highly Efficient Self-Supported Transition Metal-Based Catalysts for Water Splitting
The ever-growing global energy demand and the associated environmental concerns of our current energy supplies have accelerated the search for new energy resources and conversion technologies that are sustainable, environmentally safe, low cost, and offer improved performance.1 Among the various options being explored, hydrogen is one of the most sustainable, environmentally benign, and clean fuel resources on the planet. Currently, more than 95% of the world’s hydrogen is being produced through steam reforming of fossil fuels and biomass. There is an urgent need for an alternative process for the synthesis of hydrogen that is cheap and uses carbon-neutral resources. Water electrolysis is an eﬀective and decisive method to produce hydrogen fuel because it is an abundant, carbon-free, clean, and renewable energy source, however, the process to convert water into hydrogen (water electrolysis) is hugely challenging from a thermodynamic and kinetics standpoint as it requires a significant amount of energy (over 237.2 kJ mol−1) under normal operating conditions. Electrocatalysts have been used to lower kinetic barriers and enhance the energy conversion efficiency of this process. 2 Platinum, ruthenium, and iridium-based catalysts are most effective for water splitting. However, due to their low natural abundance, electrocatalysts from these materials are prohibitively expensive. Lots of work has been done to explore cheap materials as a replacement for rare-earth metals. 2 Although highly efficient transition metal-based catalysts have been reported, however, most of these catalysts involve either complex synthetic processes or lengthy protocols that add to the overall cost of these catalysts. There is a strong desire to synthesize efficient electrocatalysts through simple and uncomplicated processes that are not only cost-effective but also are simple and more sustainable.
1. Suryawanshi, M. P.; Ghorpade, U. V.; Shin, S. W.; Suryawanshi, U. P.; Jo, E.; Kim, J. H., Hierarchically Coupled Ni: FeOOH Nanosheets on 3D N-Doped Graphite Foam as Self-Supported Electrocatalysts for Efficient and Durable Water Oxidation. ACS Catalysis 2019, 9, 5025-5034.
2. Suen, N.-T.; Hung, S.-F.; Quan, Q.; Zhang, N.; Xu, Y.-J.; Chen, H. M., Electrocatalysis for the oxygen evolution reaction: recent development and future perspectives. Chemical Society Reviews 2017, 46 (2), 337-365.
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