Nanoporous intermetallic compounds that increase hydrogen production

The principle and process of self-organization of liquid metal trading. In the precursor alloy (AB), the pore-forming metal (A) and the sacrificial component (B) should have a positive and negative enthalpy when mixing with the molten bath (C), respectively. With component B selectively dissolving in molten C, the remaining component A self-organizes into a porous structure. Credit: Takeshi Wada and Ruirui Song

Hydrogen has the highest energy density (120 MJ / kg) of all known substances, about three times more than diesel or gasoline, which means it could play a vital role in sustainable energy systems. But the efficient production of hydrogen by simply splitting water requires highly performing catalysts.

Now, a collaborative group from Tohoku University and Johns Hopkins University has developed nanoporous molybdenum-based intermetallic compounds that could increase hydrogen production.

Nano-scale intermetallic compounds formed from non-precious transition metals have the potential to be robust and cost-effective catalysts for hydrogen production. However, the development of monolithic intermetallic compounds, with large active sites and sufficient electrocatalytic activity, remains a challenge for scientists.

‘Our research has played a crucial role in addressing this problem,’ says Professor Hidemi Kato, of the Tohoku University Materials Research Institute and co-author of the study. “By focusing on design and engineering, we leveraged an advanced dealloying technique to build the architecture of intermetallic compounds.”

Liquid metal dealloying is a processing technique that uses the difference in miscibility of alloy components in a bath of molten metal to corrode the selected components while retaining the others. It allows self-organization in a three-dimensional porous structure.

It also allows you to control the pore size at the nanoscale for both μ-Co7Mo6 and μ-Fe7Mo6which are generally at the micrometer scale for other metals / alloys when swelling occurs at equivalent temperatures.

The collaborative group then investigated the electrocatalytic performance of the novel nanoporous intermetallic compounds. It has shown promise and potential for use as a commercial HER catalyst for high current applications.

The results of their research were published in the journal Nature communications on September 2, 2022.

Looking ahead, the research team hopes to use liquid metal dealloying to develop more monolithic nanoporous intermetallic compounds by exploring the fundamental mechanisms underlying general intermetallic phases.

Design of a multi-element atomic arrangement

More information:
Ruirui Song et al, Ultrafine Nanoporous Intermetallic Catalysts Using High Temperature Liquid Metal Agreements for Electrochemical Production of Hydrogen, Nature communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-022-32768-1

Provided by Tohoku University

Citation: Nanoporous intermetallic compounds increasing hydrogen production (2022, October 18) recovered October 18, 2022 from

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