Transition metal carbides (WC, Mo2C, TaC, NbC) as potential electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) at medium temperatures

Simon Meyer, Aleksey V. Nikiforov, Irina M. Petrushina, Klaus Köhler, Erik Christensen, Jens Oluf Jensen, Niels J. Bjerrum

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

One limitation for large scale water electrolysis is the high price of the Pt cathode catalyst. Transition metal carbides, which are considered as some of the most promising non-Pt catalysts, are less active than Pt at room temperature. The present work demonstrates that the situation is different at medium temperatures (200-400 degrees C). By introducing a new setup which makes use of molten KH2PO4 as electrolyte, a model system for solid acid membrane electrolyser cells was obtained. Metal carbide coated wires prepared by a two-step oxidation carburization reaction of the metal wire surfaces were used as electrodes and allowed the measurement of the intrinsic catalytic properties of different transition metal carbides in direct comparison to Pt at 260 degrees C. Under these conditions, the activity in the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) followed the order WC > Pt approximate to MO2C > NbC > TaC. Copyright (C) 2014, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume40
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2905-2911
ISSN0360-3199
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • CHEMISTRY,
  • ELECTROCHEMISTRY
  • ENERGY
  • TUNGSTEN-CARBIDE
  • MOLYBDENUM BORIDE
  • OXIDE SURFACES
  • WATER
  • ELECTROLYSIS
  • CATALYSTS
  • PLATINUM
  • OXIDATION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • AMMONIA
  • Medium temperature water electrolysis
  • Hydrogen evolution reaction (HER)
  • Molten potassium dihydrogen phosphate
  • Non-platinum electrocatalyst

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