Researchers have found that an iron-nickel electrode helps break down water as effectively as precious metal catalysts such as platinum, iridium, and ruthenium.
For electrolysis of water, two electrodes are used,through which an electric charge passes, separating the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. As many countries began to switch to renewable energy sources, the cost of producing H2 is becoming an important economic factor. However, currently, to promote separation molecules usually use rare and expensive metals because of their high efficiency.
A group of scientists from the University of New SouthWales, Griffith University and Swinburne University of Technology showed that the use of low-cost metals such as iron and nickel as catalysts can also accelerate the chemical reaction well and reduce energy consumption.
According to them, these metals alone are notThey are good catalysts for hydrogen production, but at the interface, splitting occurs at a record speed. The nanoscale interface fundamentally changes their properties, making the electrode as active as platinum.
Since iron and nickel are thousands of times cheaper than traditional catalysts, their use not only saves rare resources, but also reduces the cost of hydrogen production.
Many scientists are now engaged in research in this direction, and a new technology for the production of hydrogen with an efficiency of 98.7% has recently been developed.