—Water-Splitting Catalyst Likes All pH Values “Cobalt-doped, nitrogen-rich carbon nanotube catalyst drives hydrogen evolution reaction under alkaline, neutral, and acidic conditions” The possibility of splitting water to liberate hydrogen, a clean-burning fuel, has spurred an intense search for catalysts to make that process feasible and energy efficient. Most of the promising inexpensive catalysts mediate only half of the chemistry—either the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) or the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Coupling those halves in a single water-splitting system has remained challenging, in part because of each half’s pH preference. HER catalysts prefer acidic media, whereas OER catalysts typically prefer alkaline or neutral solutions.
by Mitch Jacoby |
April 07, 2014