269663 Electrochemical Reduced Graphene Oxide-Nickel Nanocomposites for Hydrogen Production From Urea Electrolysis

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 12:30 PM
307 (Convention Center )
Dan Wang, Wei Yan, Santosh H. Vijapur and Gerardine G. Botte, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Urea ((NH2)2CO) has attracted attention as a hydrogen carrier for long-term sustainable energy supply. In comparison with other gas/liquid hydrogen carriers, such as methanol, ethanol, ammonia, and so on, urea is a stable and non-flammable solid, which make it easy for hydrogen storage and transportation. Effective catalysts and methods for urea decomposition are therefore necessary for hydrogen production from urea. Recently, electrocatalytic oxidation with inexpensive bulk nickel catalyst was introduced as an approach for urea decomposition and hydrogen production. On the other hand, graphene, a two-dimensional (2D) monolayer of sp2-hybridized carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb network, exhibits excellent mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical properties, large specific surface area and chemical stability. These superb properties offer graphene many potential applications in nanoelectronics, batteries, fuel cells, electrocatalysis, and so on.

            Within this context, this paper focuses on the synthesis of graphene-nickel nanocomposites through a one-step electrochemical reduction process and the development of nanocomposites as electrocatalysts for hydrogen production via urea electrolysis. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV-Vis absorption, and Raman spectroscopy are used to characterize the synthesized electrochemical reduced graphene oxide-nickel nanocomposites. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) and polarization techniques are used to investigate and evaluate the performance of the synthesized nanocomposites for urea electrolysis.

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