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Issue 7, 2018
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Ni–Mo–O nanorod-derived composite catalysts for efficient alkaline water-to-hydrogen conversion via urea electrolysis

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Abstract

Photo/electrochemical splitting of water to hydrogen (H2) fuel is a sustainable way of meeting our energy demands at no environmental cost, but significant challenges remain: for example, the sluggish anodic reaction imposes a considerable overpotential requirement. By contrast, urea electrolysis offers the prospect of energy-saving H2 production together with urea-rich wastewater purification, whereas the lack of inexpensive and efficient urea oxidation reaction (UOR) catalysts places constraints on the development of this technique. Here we report a porous rod-like NiMoO4 with high oxidation states of the metal elements enabling highly efficient UOR electrocatalysis, which can be readily produced through annealing solid NiMoO4·xH2O as a starting precursor in Ar. This precursor gives the derived Ni/NiO/MoOx nanocomposite when switching the shielding gas from Ar to H2/Ar, exhibiting platinum-like activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in alkaline electrolytes. Assembling an electrolytic cell using our developed UOR and HER catalysts as the anode and cathode can provide a current density of 10 milliamperes per square centimeter at a cell voltage of mere 1.38 volts, as well as remarkable operational stability, representing the best yet reported noble-metal-free urea electrolyser. Our results demonstrate the potential of nickel–molybdenum-based materials as efficient electrode catalysts for urea electrolysers that promises cost-effective and energy-saving H2 production.

Graphical abstract: Ni–Mo–O nanorod-derived composite catalysts for efficient alkaline water-to-hydrogen conversion via urea electrolysis

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Feb 2018, accepted on 27 Apr 2018 and first published on 27 Apr 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EE00521D
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2018,11, 1890-1897
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    Ni–Mo–O nanorod-derived composite catalysts for efficient alkaline water-to-hydrogen conversion via urea electrolysis

    Z. Yu, C. Lang, M. Gao, Y. Chen, Q. Fu, Y. Duan and S. Yu, Energy Environ. Sci., 2018, 11, 1890
    DOI: 10.1039/C8EE00521D

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