SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean researchers have developed an affordable and long-lasting electrocatalyst that can cleanly and efficiently extract hydrogen from water, a state-run science institute said Sunday.
A team of researchers led by Yoo Sung-jong has made a special catalyst that can produce hydrogen without relying on expensive platinum, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said.
It said the new process also overcomes the main shortcomings of non-platinum-based electrocatalyst that suffered from short endurance.
Hydrogen, one of the most abundant elements in the universe, has the potential to meet all of the world’s energy needs without hurting the environment.
Currently, it is mostly made by the fossil fuel processing that leads to the release of greenhouse gases. The cleanest way is to use water electrolysis, even though this method is economically non-viable due to high expense and low output.
KIST said the new method makes use of cheap and easy to handle molybdenum as the catalyst’s main material, with only minute amounts of platinum being added.
The novel titanium-doped molybdenum phosphide (Ti.MoP) catalyst developed by the researchers has been tested to have 26 times the endurance of other non-platinum materials made so far.
Ti.MoP has even overcome the molybdenum chief weakness of being vulnerable to corrosion.
“The latest development is significant because it shows that non-platinum-based catalyst can be used to make hydrogen in an efficient manner,” Yoo, who leads KIST’s hydrogen and fuel cell research team, said.
He added further research could improve production efficiency and lead to early eco-friendly production of hydrogen.
The research has been published in the recent issue of the international Nano Energy journal under the title of “electron-deficient titanium single action electrocatalyst for stable and efficient hydrogen production.”