Researchers Develop New Material for Water Splitting

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Researchers have successfully tested a new material that can be used for the large-scale production of hydrogen, according to a study conducted on March 5, 2018.

Extraction of hydrogen from water is carried out by using precious metals. However, precious metals such as platinum, ruthenium, and iridium are not preferred since they are too costly. Now, a team of researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology has found a cheaper combination of nickel, iron, and copper that can used to replace precious metals. Water can be split into hydrogen using this new alloy. According to the researchers, in comparison with the technologies available today, this catalyst is found to be more efficient and cheaper. For instance, carbon dioxide emission from steel production can be reduced by using hydrogen.

Although this is not the first cheaper material proposed for water splitting, researchers say that this is more effective than the other methods. Researcher Peili Zhang said, “The high catalytic performance of core-shell NiFeCu for water oxidation is attributed to the synergistic effect of Ni, Fe and Cu.” He also said that in the preparation of electrode, copper plays a very interesting role. Zhang said, “The porous oxide shell with its high electrochemically active surface area is responsible for the catalytic activity, while the metallic cores work as facile electron transport highways.”

This technology will be useful for the large-scale production of hydrogen and will be a promising alternative to fossil fuels.


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