Tech Update: Catalyst for more efficient green hydrogen production TOU

Tech Update: Catalyst for more efficient green hydrogen production


Catalyst for more efficient green hydrogen production

Researchers at Georgia Tech observe hydrogen and oxygen gases emanating from a water-splitting reactor. Credit: Georgia Tech

Climate crises need to increase the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, but with intermittent availability, scalable energy storage is a challenge.

Hydrogen — especially carbon-free green hydrogen સ્વચ્છ has emerged as a promising clean energy carrier and storage option for renewable energy such as solar and wind. It adds no carbon emissions to the atmosphere, but is currently expensive and complicated to make.

One way to produce green hydrogen is to break down electrochemical water. This process involves conducting electricity through water in the presence of catalysts (reaction enhancing substances) to obtain hydrogen and oxygen.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have developed new water-splitting processes and materials that maximize the efficiency of green hydrogen production, making it an affordable and accessible alternative for industrial partners. . For renewable energy storage instead of conventional, carbon-emitting hydrogen production from natural gas.

Georgia Tech’s findings Climate experts agree that hydrogen will be important for the world’s top industrial sectors to achieve their net-zero emissions targets. Last summer, the Biden administration set a goal of reducing the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% in a decade. Dubbed as a hydrogen shot, the Department of Energy-led initiative seeks to reduce the cost of “clean” or green hydrogen by 30 1 per kilogram by 2030.

Scientists hope to replace natural gas and coal, which are currently used today to store excess electrical energy at the grid level, with green hydrogen because it does not contribute to carbon emissions, making it a more environmentally friendly medium for storing renewable electricity. The focus of their research is electrolysis or the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Less expensive, more durable material

Georgia Tech’s research team hopes to make green hydrogen less expensive and more durable by using hybrid materials for electrocatalysts. Today, the process relies on expensive noble metal components such as platinum and iridium, the catalyst of choice for producing hydrogen by electrolysis on a scale. These elements are expensive and rare, which has prevented the move to change gas for hydrogen-based power. In fact, green is responsible for hydrogen Less than 1% According to market research firm Wood Mackenzie, annual hydrogen production in 2020, largely due to these costs.

“Our task is to reduce the use of those noble metals, increase their activity as well as use options,” said Seung Wu Li, the study’s lead researcher. George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, And specializes in electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems.

In research published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental And Energy and environmental science, Lee and his team highlighted the interactions between metal nanoparticles and metal oxides to support the design of high-performance hybrid catalysts.

“We’ve designed a new class of catalyst where we’ve come up with a better oxide substrate that uses less of the noble elements,” Lee said. “These hybrid catalysts have shown excellent performance for both oxygen and hydrogen (splitting).”

Nanometer-scale analysis

His work was based on calculation and modeling by X-ray measurements from research partners, the Korea Institute of Energy Research, and Kyungpook National University and Oregon State University, which took advantage of the country’s synchrotron, football-field-sized super X-rays.

“Using X-rays, we can observe structural changes in the catalyst during the water-splitting process, on a nanometer scale,” Lee explained. “We can check their oxidation status or molecular configurations under operating conditions.”

Jinho Park, a research scientist and lead researcher at GTRI, said the research could help reduce the cost constraint on equipment used to produce green hydrogen. In addition to developing hybrid catalysts, researchers have ensured the shape of the catalyst as well as its ability to control the interaction of metals. The main priority was to reduce the use of catalysts in the system and at the same time, to increase its durability as catalysts account for a large share of equipment costs.

“We want to use this catalyst for a long time without compromising its performance,” he said. “Our research is focused not only on creating new catalysts, but also on understanding the reaction mechanics behind them. We believe that our efforts will help support a basic understanding of the reaction of water splitting on a catalyst and provide significant insights to other researchers.” , ”Park said.

Catalyst shape matters

According to Park, the main discovery was the role of catalyst shapes in the production of hydrogen. “The surface structure of the catalyst is very important in determining whether it is optimized for hydrogen production. That is why we try to control the shape of the catalyst as well as the interaction between metals and substrate materials,” he said.

Park said some of the key applications located for the first benefit include hydrogen stations for fuel cell electric vehicles, which only operate in the state of California today, and a new community approach to microgrid, electric grid design and operation that is based on renewable-powered backups. Depends. Power

While research for XYZ is well underway, the team is currently working with partners to find new materials for efficient hydrogen production using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Researchers are developing advanced catalysts for clean hydrogen production

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                                                                                            <strong>More info:</strong>
                                            Myongjin Kim et al, Understanding the Synergistic Metal-Oxide Interactions of Situ Exhaust Metal Nanoparticles on Pyrochloride Oxide Support for Advanced Water Separation, <i>Energy and environmental science</i> (2020).  <a data-doi="1" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">DOI: 10.1039 / d0ee02935a</a> 

Myongjin Kim et al, The role of surface measures in the activation of surface oxygen sites on ir nanocrystals for oxygen evolutionary reactions in acidic media, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / j.apcatb.2021.120834


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