As an energy carrier for the storing excess power produced by wind and solar, green hydrogen is an integral part of the energy transition. And as Germany’s National Hydrogen Strategy which was launched last year gathers pace, it is important that the catalysts used for producing hydrogen via electrolysis are as efficient as possible.
To this end, researchers from the renowned Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have been studying the electrochemical behaviour of the surface of iridium oxide catalysts during reactions and have made some useful discoveries.
“For the first time, we have studied the behaviour of the catalyst on the atomic level in spite of strong bubble evolution,” says Dr Steffen Czioska from KIT’s Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP), introducing the complex subject in a . Previously, the oxygen bubbling effect at the anode had made it impossible to collect accurate results.
Czioska goes on to explain the significance of their findings: “Our study reveals highly unexpected structural modifications connected to a stabilisation of the catalyst at high voltages under dynamic loading.” The research has shown how the iridium oxide dissolution might be reduced to stabilise the material for longer.
The research was first published in which considers the study to be of great importance, paving the way towards the development of more stable, high performing and cost-efficient catalysts. The study was part of the “Dynakat” priority programme funded by the German Research Foundation.