Overcoming the Instability of Nanoparticle-Based Catalyst Films in Alkaline Electrolyzers by using Self-Assembling and Self-Healing Films

Stefan Barwe, Justus Masa, Corina Andronescu, Bastian Mei, Wolfgang Schuhmann*, Edgar Ventosa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8573-8577
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie (international edition)
Volume56
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • electrocatalysis
  • nanopowder catalyst
  • self-assembly
  • self-healing films
  • water splitting

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