Enhanced electrocatalytic activity of a layered triple hydroxide (LTH) by modulating the electronic structure and active sites for efficient and stable urea electrolysis

Komal Patil, Pravin Tukaram Babar, Hyojung Bae, Eunae Jo, Jun Sung Jang, Pravin Bhoite, Sanjay Kolekar, Jin Hyeok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

A clean and sustainable “hydrogen-based economy” will usher in a new era. Therefore, the hydrogen production pathway is crucial. The urea (CO(NH2)2) electrolysis has recently been investigated as a promising energy-saving approach for renewable hydrogen production compared to conventional water (H2O) electrolysis. This is because of the minimal cell voltage, mitigation of urea-rich wastewater, and availability of electrocatalysts. Herein, we report trimetallic nickel–cobalt–iron layered triple hydroxide nanosheets (NiCoFe-LTH) grown on nickel foam (NF) via a one-step hydrothermal synthesis method. They were tested as catalysts for the urea oxidation reaction (UOR) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in direct urea fuel cells (DUFCs). NiCoFe-LTH/NF behaves as a highly active durable 2D catalyst electrode for the UOR and HER with the required potentials of 1.337 V and 180 mV to achieve catalytic current densities of 25 and 10 mA cm−2 respectively, in 1 M KOH with 0.33 M urea. Moreover, this electrode also performs well in urea-electrolysis, requiring a very small potential of 1.49 V to achieve 10 mA cm−2 over a period of 30 h. The developed urea electrolyzer is very effective at producing H2. It is cost-effective and involves no difficulties in material synthesis or electrolyzer fabrication, paving the way for the development of clean renewable energy infrastructure.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-483
Number of pages10
JournalSustainable Energy & Fuels
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-12-13
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Human Resources Development Program (No. 20194030202470) of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) Grant funded by the Korean Government Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. This work was supported by the Technology Development Program to Solve Climate Changes of the National Research Foundation (grant no. 2016M1A2A2936784) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

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