We report a new class of highly active and stable tungsten-based catalysts to replace noble metal materials for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in an acidic electrolyte. The catalyst is produced by heating an earth-abundant and low-cost mixture of ammonium tungstate, soybean powder and graphene nanoplatelets (WSoyGnP). The catalyst compound consists of tungsten carbide (W2C and WC) and tungsten nitride (WN) nanoparticles decorated on graphene nanoplatelets. The catalyst demonstrates an overpotential (η10, the potential at a current density of 10 mA cm-2) of 0.105 V, which is the smallest among tungsten-based HER catalysts in acidic media. The coupling with graphene significantly reduces the charge transfer resistance and increases the active surface area of the product, which are favorable for enhancing the HER activity. Therefore, the approach of employing biomass and other less expensive materials as precursors for the production of catalysts with high HER activity provides a new path for the design and development of efficient catalysts for the hydrogen production industry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)