High-Performance, Long-Lifetime Catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis
Hydrogen production from proton exchange membrane water electrolysis is attractive due to its simple and clean nature. However, it is still expensive resulting from expensive materials (membrane, catalyst, and bipolar plate) and electricity consumption. The industries and Department of Energy have been striving to reduce the cost of this technology. The project will develop and commercialize highly active, durable and economically feasible anode catalysts, which may significantly lower the cost of hydrogen production from proton exchange membrane electrolysis. Our Phase I SBIR award investigated catalysts based on high-surface area graphitic carbon nitride support, and extended nanostructured support. The results show that extended nanostructured catalysts possess the potential for significantly enhanced performance and corrosion resistance. Phase I has provided good feasibility. The Phase II project will further develop the extended nanostructured catalysts via a variety of routes and strive to commercialize selected catalysts with best performance. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The synthesized catalysts will first be used in the electrolysis industry for cost reduction. It is anticipated that successful development of the catalysts will lower the anode catalyst loading by 5-10 times while improving efficiency by 4 to 8%. The overall benefit is the cost reduction of the materials and electricity consumption, making hydrogen production from PEM water electrolysis more economically viable and accessible to the public.
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