Indian scientists have designed an electrocatalyst system for energy-efficient hydrogen production using urea electrolysis, which is useful for urea-based waste treatment with hydrogen production. low-cost hydrogen, an official press release announced on Wednesday.
The energy requirements for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis of water can be reduced by 70% thanks to the electrolysis of urea. The energy-intensive counterpart of water separation, the evolution of oxygen, can be replaced by the oxidation of urea in urea electrolysis. Low-cost, earth-abundant Ni-based catalysts are widely used for this process.
“The main challenge associated with urea oxidation is to retain the prolonged activity of the catalyst, because the strong adsorption of the reactive intermediate (COx) on the active site, called catalyst poisoning, leads to a loss of activity,” said the statement from the Ministry of Science and Technology. .
To this end, Alex C., Gaurav Shukla, Muhammed Safeer NK and Neena S. John of the Center for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, developed this nickel oxide (NiOx) based on a hydrogen production system by electro-oxidation of urea.
In the series of research papers published in the journals Electrochimica Acta and Journal of Materials Chemistry, scientists explored electrocatalysts and showed that surface-defective NiO and Ni2O3 systems have more Ni3+ ions and are more efficient electrocatalysts than the Conventional NiO.
“Urea electrolysis is useful for urea waste treatment with low cost hydrogen production. India is one of the major urea producing countries and produced 244.55 lakh metric tons of urea in 2019-20. Nitrogen fertilizer industries generate a high concentration of ammonia and urea as effluent. This can be used for power generation to benefit our country,” asserted the scientists.
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