288176 Metal-Modified Carbides As Low-Cost Electrocatalysts for H2 Production From Water Electrolysis

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 3:45 PM
319 (Convention Center )
Jingguang G. Chen, Chemical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY

In the current talk we will present our recent results on the development of alternative catalysts for H2 production through electrolysis.  The main objective of our research is to identify catalysts to substantially reduce or replace Platinum-group metals.  Our research approaches involve parallel efforts in density functional theory (DFT) calculations, surface science experiments on model systems, and synthesis and characterization of porous catalyst particles under electrochemical conditions.

We will first use model surfaces to demonstrate the feasibility of using monolayer Pt on tungsten carbide (WC) to achieve the same activity as bulk Pt for water electrolysis [1].  We will present DFT calculations of similar electronic and chemical properties between monolayer Pt/WC and Pt, synthesis and characterization of monolayer Pt/WC films, and electrochemical evaluation of the activity and stability of Pt/WC for water electrolysis.  Comparing to the leading Pt electrocatalyst, the monolayer Pt/WC represents a reduction by a factor of ten in Pt loading [2].  We will then demonstrate the feasibility to extend model Pt/WC surfaces to porous Pt/WC particles for water electrolysis.  We will also provide a volcano relationship between DFT calculated hydrogen binding energy and experimentally measured electrolysis activity to identify other metal-modified carbide systems as potential low-cost electrocatalysts.

[1]  D.V. Esposito, S.T. Hunt, K.D. Dobson, B.E. McCandless, R.W. Birkmire and J.G. Chen, “Low-Cost Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts Based on Monolayer Platinum on Tungsten Monocarbide (WC) Substrates”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 49 (2010) 9859.

[2]  D.V. Esposito and J.G. Chen, “Monolayer Platinum Supported on Tungsten Carbides as Low-Cost Electrocatalysts: Opportunities and Limitations”, Energy & Environmental Science, 4 (2011) 3900.

[3]  I.J. Hsu, Y.C. Kimmel, B.G. Willis and J.G. Chen, “Atomic Layer Deposition Synthesis of Platinum-Tungsten Carbide Core-Shell Catalysts for the Hydrogen Evolution Reaction”, Chemical Communications, 48 (2012) 1063.

[4]  D.V. Esposito, S.T. Hunt, Y.C. Kimmel and J.G. Chen, “A New Class of Electrocatalysts for Hydrogen Production from Water Electrolysis: Metal Monolayers Supported on Low-Cost Transition Metal Carbides”, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 134 (2012) 3025.

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