Overcoming the Instability of Nanoparticle-Based Catalyst Films in Alkaline Electrolyzers by using Self-Assembling and Self-Healing Films
Barwe, S. and Masa, J. and Andronescu, C. and Mei, B. and Schuhmann, W. and Ventosa, E.
ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE - INTERNATIONAL EDITION
Volume: 56 Pages: 8573-8577
Engineering stable electrodes using highly active catalyst nanopowders for electrochemical water splitting remains a challenge. We report an innovative and general approach for attaining highly stable catalyst films with self-healing capability based on the in situ self-assembly of catalyst particles during electrolysis. The catalyst particles are added to the electrolyte forming a suspension that is pumped through the electrolyzer. Particles with negatively charged surfaces stick onto the anode, while particles with positively charged surfaces stick to the cathode. The self-assembled catalyst films have self-healing properties as long as sufficient catalyst particles are present in the electrolyte. The proof-of-concept was demonstrated in a non-zero gap alkaline electrolyzer using NiFe-LDH and NixB catalyst nanopowders for anode and cathode, respectively. Steady cell voltages were maintained for at least three weeks during continuous electrolysis at 50–100 mA cm−2. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim