Platinum and iridium are the preferred catalysts for producing hydrogen through electrolysis at scale. But they are expensive and rare, offering serious bottlenecks in hydrogen’s plans to replace gas worldwide. Now researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have shown for the first time that cobalt phosphide can do the same job in the harsh environment of a commercial device: high temperatures, pressures, electric current densities and in extremely acidic conditions for long periods. Even though the new catalyst’s efficiency was lower than platinum’s, it was constant. The article runs through the issues as well as the science. Electrolysis can produce clean, green hydrogen but there isn’t nearly enough of it. Most hydrogen today is produced by reforming fossil fuels in a process that emits a lot of carbon dioxide. Could this be one of the many keys needed to unlock the production of clean hydrogen at scale?
Energy Post 24th Oct 2019 read more »