Nanocrystalline Ni5P4: A hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst of exceptional efficiency in both alkaline and acidic media

A. B. Laursen, K. R. Patraju, M. J. Whitaker, M. Retuerto, T. Sarkar, N. Yao, K. V. Ramanujachary, M. Greenblatt, G Charles Dismukes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

241 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Producing hydrogen (H2) by splitting water with fossil-free electricity is considered a grand challenge for developing sustainable energy systems and a carbon dioxide free source of renewable H2. Renewable H2 may be produced from water by electrolysis with either low efficiency alkaline electrolyzers that suffer 50-65% losses, or by more efficient acidic electrolyzers with rare platinum group metal catalysts (Pt). Consequently, research has focused on developing alternative, cheap, and robust catalysts made from earth-abundant elements. Here, we show that crystalline Ni5P4 evolves H2 with geometric electrical to chemical conversion efficiency on par with Pt in strong acid (33 mV dec-1 Tafel slope and -62 mV overpotential at -100 mA cm-2 in 1 M H2SO4). The conductivity of Ni5P4 microparticles is sufficient to allow fabrication of electrodes without conducting binders by pressing pellets. Significantly, no catalyst degradation is seen in short term studies at current densities of -10 mA cm-2, equivalent to ∼10% solar photoelectrical conversion efficiency. The realization of a noble metal-free catalyst performing on par with Pt in both strong acid and base offers a key step towards industrially relevant electrolyzers competing with conventional H2 sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1034
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Environmental Science
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015

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Electrocatalysts
Hydrogen
catalyst
hydrogen
Catalysts
Conversion efficiency
Acids
Water
acid
metal
Precious metals
Platinum
density current
Electrolysis
platinum
Carbon Dioxide
Chemical elements
Binders
electrokinesis
Carbon dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

Cite this

Nanocrystalline Ni5P4 : A hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst of exceptional efficiency in both alkaline and acidic media. / Laursen, A. B.; Patraju, K. R.; Whitaker, M. J.; Retuerto, M.; Sarkar, T.; Yao, N.; Ramanujachary, K. V.; Greenblatt, M.; Dismukes, G Charles.

In: Energy and Environmental Science, Vol. 8, No. 3, 01.03.2015, p. 1027-1034.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Laursen, AB, Patraju, KR, Whitaker, MJ, Retuerto, M, Sarkar, T, Yao, N, Ramanujachary, KV, Greenblatt, M & Dismukes, GC 2015, 'Nanocrystalline Ni5P4: A hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst of exceptional efficiency in both alkaline and acidic media', Energy and Environmental Science, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 1027-1034. https://doi.org/10.1039/c4ee02940b
Laursen, A. B. ; Patraju, K. R. ; Whitaker, M. J. ; Retuerto, M. ; Sarkar, T. ; Yao, N. ; Ramanujachary, K. V. ; Greenblatt, M. ; Dismukes, G Charles. / Nanocrystalline Ni5P4 : A hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst of exceptional efficiency in both alkaline and acidic media. In: Energy and Environmental Science. 2015 ; Vol. 8, No. 3. pp. 1027-1034.
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