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

Abstract

Photo/electrochemical splitting of water to hydrogen (H2) fuel permits a sustainable way to meet our energy demands at no environmental cost, but significant challenges remain: for example, the sluggish anodic reaction that 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 state of metal elements that enables highly efficient UOR electrocatalysis, which can be readily produced through annealing solid NiMoO4•xH2O 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 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 the current density of 10 milliamperes per square centimeter at cell voltage of mere 1.38 volts, as well as remarkable operational stability, representing the best yet reported noble-metal-free urea electrolysers. Our results demonstrate the potential of nickel-molybdenum-based materials as efficient electrode catalysts for urea electrolysers that promise a cost-effective and energy-saving H2 production.

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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, Accepted Manuscript
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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, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8EE00521D

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