Researcher from Stanford University have developed a new device that has made water-splitting more practical and boosted efficiency levels to an unprecedented 82 percent.
With just one catalyst, the novel water-splitting device can continuously generate hydrogen and oxygen for more than 200 hours with a steady input of just 1.5 volts of electricity.
Through this new device, researchers can produce renewable sources of clean-burning hydrogen fuel.
The Stanford researchers are using just one catalyst instead of the traditional two in water-splitting processes, which allows the cost to drop significantly.
“For practical water splitting, an expensive barrier is needed to separate the two electrolytes, adding to the cost of the device. But our single-catalyst water splitter operates efficiently in one electrolyte with a uniform pH,” said Haotian Wang, lead author of the study and graduate student at Stanford.
This from Futurity:
To find catalytic material suitable for both electrodes, the Stanford team borrowed a technique used in battery research called lithium-induced electrochemical tuning. The idea is to use lithium ions to chemically break the metal oxide catalyst into smaller and smaller pieces.
Not only does this produce a cheaper water-splitting device via a single nickel and iron catalyst, but the electrochemical tuning can be used to find new catalysts for other chemical fuels beyond hydrogen.
ICYMI: We recently sat down with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s John. A Turner, an industry leader in photoelectrochemical water splitting for hydrogen production. Check out the podcast and download it for free!