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Discovered a Robust Catalyst to Split Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen

Scientists have developed a single and robust catalyst that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen. It has been developed with Earth – abundant materials that closely reach to the efficiency of more – expensive platinum.

Scientists at Rice University and the University of Houston developed this single catalyst capable of splitting hydrogen and oxygen to produce clean energy. The electrolytic film is a three-layer structure of nickel, graphene and a compound of iron, manganese and phosphorous.  A large surface to film is provided by foamy nickel. Graphene has conductive properties which protect nickel from degrading and the metal phosphide carries out the reaction. This catalyst is the subject of a paper in Nano Energy.  

Kent Whitmire who is a Rice chemist and Jiming Bao who is a Houston electrical and computer engineer developed this film in their labs which was capable of producing both hydrogen and oxygen simultaneously. It overcame with the barriers that made a catalyst good to produce either hydrogen or oxygen.

By: Bhavna Sharma


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