Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution: Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot

A.B. Laursen, Ana Sofia Varela Gasque, F. Dionigi, H. Fanchiu, C. Miller, O.L. Trinhammer, J. Rossmeisl, S. Dahl

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is growing in significance as society begins to rely more on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Thus, research on designing new, inexpensive, and abundant HER catalysts is important. Here, we describe how a simple experiment combined with results from density functional theory (DFT) can be used to introduce the Sabatier principle and its importance when designing new catalysts for the HER. We also describe the difference between reactivity and catalytic activity of solid surfaces and explain how DFT is used to predict new catalysts based on this. Suited for upper-level high school and first-year university students, this exercise involves using a basic two-cell electrochemical setup to test multiple electrode materials as catalysts at one applied potential, and then constructing a volcano curve with the resulting currents. The curve visually shows students that the best HER catalysts are characterized by an optimal hydrogen
binding energy (reactivity), as stated by the Sabatier principle. In addition, students may use this volcano curve to predict the activity of an untested catalyst solely from the catalyst reactivity. This exercise
circumvents the complexity of traditional experiments while it still demonstrates the trends of the HER volcano known from literature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume89
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1595-1599
ISSN0021-9584
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this

Laursen, A. B., Varela Gasque, A. S., Dionigi, F., Fanchiu, H., Miller, C., Trinhammer, O. L., ... Dahl, S. (2012). Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution: Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot. Journal of Chemical Education, 89(12), 1595-1599. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed200818t
Laursen, A.B. ; Varela Gasque, Ana Sofia ; Dionigi, F. ; Fanchiu, H. ; Miller, C. ; Trinhammer, O.L. ; Rossmeisl, J. ; Dahl, S. / Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution : Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot. In: Journal of Chemical Education. 2012 ; Vol. 89, No. 12. pp. 1595-1599.
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Laursen, AB, Varela Gasque, AS, Dionigi, F, Fanchiu, H, Miller, C, Trinhammer, OL, Rossmeisl, J & Dahl, S 2012, 'Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution: Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot', Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 89, no. 12, pp. 1595-1599. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed200818t

Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution : Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot. / Laursen, A.B.; Varela Gasque, Ana Sofia; Dionigi, F.; Fanchiu, H.; Miller, C.; Trinhammer, O.L.; Rossmeisl, J.; Dahl, S.

In: Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 89, No. 12, 2012, p. 1595-1599.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Electrochemical Hydrogen Evolution

T2 - Sabatier's Principle and the Volcano Plot

AU - Laursen, A.B.

AU - Varela Gasque, Ana Sofia

AU - Dionigi, F.

AU - Fanchiu, H.

AU - Miller, C.

AU - Trinhammer, O.L.

AU - Rossmeisl, J.

AU - Dahl, S.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - The electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is growing in significance as society begins to rely more on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Thus, research on designing new, inexpensive, and abundant HER catalysts is important. Here, we describe how a simple experiment combined with results from density functional theory (DFT) can be used to introduce the Sabatier principle and its importance when designing new catalysts for the HER. We also describe the difference between reactivity and catalytic activity of solid surfaces and explain how DFT is used to predict new catalysts based on this. Suited for upper-level high school and first-year university students, this exercise involves using a basic two-cell electrochemical setup to test multiple electrode materials as catalysts at one applied potential, and then constructing a volcano curve with the resulting currents. The curve visually shows students that the best HER catalysts are characterized by an optimal hydrogenbinding energy (reactivity), as stated by the Sabatier principle. In addition, students may use this volcano curve to predict the activity of an untested catalyst solely from the catalyst reactivity. This exercisecircumvents the complexity of traditional experiments while it still demonstrates the trends of the HER volcano known from literature.

AB - The electrochemical hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is growing in significance as society begins to rely more on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Thus, research on designing new, inexpensive, and abundant HER catalysts is important. Here, we describe how a simple experiment combined with results from density functional theory (DFT) can be used to introduce the Sabatier principle and its importance when designing new catalysts for the HER. We also describe the difference between reactivity and catalytic activity of solid surfaces and explain how DFT is used to predict new catalysts based on this. Suited for upper-level high school and first-year university students, this exercise involves using a basic two-cell electrochemical setup to test multiple electrode materials as catalysts at one applied potential, and then constructing a volcano curve with the resulting currents. The curve visually shows students that the best HER catalysts are characterized by an optimal hydrogenbinding energy (reactivity), as stated by the Sabatier principle. In addition, students may use this volcano curve to predict the activity of an untested catalyst solely from the catalyst reactivity. This exercisecircumvents the complexity of traditional experiments while it still demonstrates the trends of the HER volcano known from literature.

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