Issue 10, 2021

Partially reduced Ru/RuO2 composites as efficient and pH-universal electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution

Abstract

Efficient and long-term stable electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) via water splitting are urgently desired to ease the energy crisis and develop the sustainability of human society. However, the HER performance of state-of-the-art Pt in non-acidic solutions is unsatisfactory due to the severely sluggish kinetics. Here, DFT theoretical calculations reveal that the Ru/RuO2 composites enable high HER activity to be pursued under non-acidic conditions because of the distinctive Ru and RuO2 interface, which possess not only a strong capability to adsorb and dissociate water but also appropriate binding energies of H and OH. Therefore, we employ a simple strategy, including heating under an oxygen-poor environment and/or in situ electrochemical reduction, to partially reduce RuO2. The formed Ru/RuO2 interfaces demonstrate superior HER activities (e.g. η10 = 17 mV, 35 mV dec−1 in 1 M KOH) than Pt/C (e.g. η10 = 27 mV, 58 mV dec−1 in 1 M KOH) at both small (10–100 mA cm−2) and large (1 A cm−2) current densities in alkaline solution and even real seawater. Comprehensive experiments were conducted to investigate the structure-HER performance relationships. Moreover, benefiting from the bifunctional character of RuO2, a two-electrode system based on Ru/RuO2 composites and RuO2 exhibits the lowest cell voltage for water splitting in both 1 M KOH and 0.5 M H2SO4, respectively. A 300 h-stability test at 10 mA cm−2 without an obvious decay demonstrates the industrial prospects of the Ru/RuO2 composites to generate green energy.

Graphical abstract: Partially reduced Ru/RuO2 composites as efficient and pH-universal electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
03 Aug 2021
Accepted
20 Aug 2021
First published
20 Aug 2021

Energy Environ. Sci., 2021,14, 5433-5443

Partially reduced Ru/RuO2 composites as efficient and pH-universal electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution

Y. Dang, T. Wu, H. Tan, J. Wang, C. Cui, P. Kerns, W. Zhao, L. Posada, L. Wen and S. L. Suib, Energy Environ. Sci., 2021, 14, 5433 DOI: 10.1039/D1EE02380B

To request permission to reproduce material from this article, please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

If you are an author contributing to an RSC publication, you do not need to request permission provided correct acknowledgement is given.

If you are the author of this article, you do not need to request permission to reproduce figures and diagrams provided correct acknowledgement is given. If you want to reproduce the whole article in a third-party publication (excluding your thesis/dissertation for which permission is not required) please go to the Copyright Clearance Center request page.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.

Social activity

Spotlight

Advertisements