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Scientists are developing more advanced catalysts for more efficient production of clean hydrogen gas

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-01 Click:79

Oregon State University's research on catalyst design shows that compared to current catalysts on the market, hydrogen can be produced cleanly with higher efficiency and lower cost. A catalyst is a substance that can increase the rate of chemical reactions and does not undergo any permanent chemical changes.

Hydrogen production is very important for our daily lives, such as fuel cells in cars and the production of many useful chemicals such as ammonia, which rely on hydrogen. It is also used for the extraction of metals, for the production of artificial materials such as plastics and a range of other uses. The production of hydrogen by splitting water through an electrochemical catalytic process is cleaner and more sustainable than the traditional method of obtaining hydrogen from natural gas through a carbon oxide production process called methane steam reforming. But the cost of this more environmentally friendly technology has always been a barrier in the market.

These new findings describe methods for designing catalysts that can greatly improve the efficiency of clean hydrogen production processes, and the related research results are published in Scientific Progress and JACS Au. Researchers indicate that catalysts often undergo structural changes during the promotion of reaction processes. Sometimes these changes are reversible, sometimes irreversible, and irreversible structural adjustments are believed to reduce the stability of the catalyst, leading to the loss of catalytic activity and a decrease in reaction efficiency.

Researchers studied the recombination of catalysts in the reaction and then manipulated their surface structure and composition at the atomic scale to achieve efficient catalytic processes for hydrogen production. They found that a catalyst based on amorphous iridium hydroxide has an activity efficiency 150 times that of its original peroxide structure, which is close to three orders of magnitude better than common commercial catalysts such as iridium oxide, to help produce hydrogen at a price of $2 per kilogram, ultimately reaching $1 per kilogram, and with lower pollution levels, which will help achieve the United States' goal of zero emissions by 2030.

The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Office of the US Department of Energy has established a technology benchmark to produce clean hydrogen at a price of $2 per kilogram by 2025 and $1 per kilogram by 2030, as a way to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% within ten years, from $5 per kilogram to $1.