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PT1.1 – Functional electrolysis electrodes

Following important advances in applying exsolution catalysts to high temperature solid oxide electrolysis, here we seek to apply this to low temperature electrolysis. In the acidic and alkaline electrolysers used for hydrogen production (HER) and parallel oxygen evolution (OER), the major challenge is to develop catalysts demonstrating high activity, high conductivity, and good stability over cell operation. Perovskite oxides (ABO3) have attracted interest for hydrogen production due to easy tunability of structural, electronic, morphological, and surface properties through partial substitution of A- and B-sites of perovskites in which B-site is the active site HER, while the A-site contributes to the catalytic activity indirectly by changing the vacancy and defect concentration of the oxide. Our preliminary results demonstrate significant catalytic activity and electrochemical stability in alkaline media, however, the selected oxides suffer from poor stability in acidic electrolytes. We will also work to develop oxides that can be functionalised by transferring directly onto an ion-exchange membrane. This approach will facilitate good contact between catalyst and membrane different from the spray deposition technique, and will be evaluated in the real electrolysers. The project lead is Prof John Irvine and the lead researcher is Dr Selda Özkan.

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