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Issue 6, 2013
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Biomass-derived electrocatalytic composites for hydrogen evolution

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Abstract

The production of hydrogen from water electrolysis calls for an efficient non-precious-metal catalyst to make the process economically viable because of the high cost and the limited supply of the currently used platinum catalysts. Here we present such a catalyst made from earth-abundant molybdenum and common, humble soybeans (MoSoy). This catalyst, composed of a catalytic β-Mo2C phase and an acid-proof γ-Mo2N phase, drives the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with low overpotentials, and is highly durable in a corrosive acidic solution over a period exceeding 500 hours. When supported on graphene sheets, the MoSoy catalyst exhibits very fast charge transfer kinetics, and its performance rivals that of noble-metal catalysts such as Pt for hydrogen production. These findings prove that the soybean (as well as other high-protein biomass) is a useful material for the generation of catalysts incorporating an abundant transition metal, thereby challenging the exclusivity of platinum catalysts in the hydrogen economy.

Graphical abstract: Biomass-derived electrocatalytic composites for hydrogen evolution

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Feb 2013, accepted on 10 Apr 2013 and first published on 10 Apr 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40596F
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2013,6, 1818-1826
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    Biomass-derived electrocatalytic composites for hydrogen evolution

    W. Chen, S. Iyer, S. Iyer, K. Sasaki, C. Wang, Y. Zhu, J. T. Muckerman and E. Fujita, Energy Environ. Sci., 2013, 6, 1818
    DOI: 10.1039/C3EE40596F

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