September 27, 2015

Carbon fiber with Molybdenum disulfide promising for large scale hydrogen production

A team from Singapore and Taiwan have shown that carbon fiber cloths coated in inexpensive catalysts can generate hydrogen, and perform not only in water but in seawater as well.

IEEe Spectrum notes, the new material generated pure hydrogen roughly as efficiently as other state-of-the-art catalysts, the researchers say. Moreover, the new catalyst was more than six times more stable in water than platinum catalysts were after an hour of activity.

Molybdenum disulfide has is that it is already widely used in industrial applications such as lubrication and petroleum refining, and that techniques for its mass production already exist. This makes it one of the most promising candidates for sustainable large-scale hydrogen production

Science Advances - Hierarchical Ni-Mo-S nanosheets on carbon fiber cloth: A flexible electrode for efficient hydrogen generation in neutral electrolyte (August 21, 2015)

Jianwei Miao1, Fang-Xing Xiao1, Hong Bin Yang1, Si Yun Khoo1, Jiazang Chen, Zhanxi Fan, Ying-Ya Hsu, Hao Ming Chen, Hua Zhang, and Bin Liu1, Science Advances, Vol. 1, no. 7, e1500259 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500259

A unique functional electrode made of hierarchal Ni-Mo-S nanosheets with abundant exposed edges anchored on conductive and flexible carbon fiber cloth, referred to as Ni-Mo-S/C, has been developed through a facile biomolecule-assisted hydrothermal method. The incorporation of Ni atoms in Mo-S plays a crucial role in tuning its intrinsic catalytic property by creating substantial defect sites as well as modifying the morphology of Ni-Mo-S network at atomic scale, resulting in an impressive enhancement in the catalytic activity. The Ni-Mo-S/C electrode exhibits a large cathodic current and a low onset potential for hydrogen evolution reaction in neutral electrolyte (pH ~7), for example, current density of 10 mA/cm2 at a very small overpotential of 200 mV. Furthermore, the Ni-Mo-S/C electrode has excellent electrocatalytic stability over an extended period, much better than those of MoS2/C and Pt plate electrodes. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and x-ray absorption spectroscopy were used to understand the formation process and electrocatalytic properties of Ni-Mo-S/C. The intuitive comparison test was designed to reveal the superior gas-evolving profile of Ni-Mo-S/C over that of MoS2/C, and a laboratory-scale hydrogen generator was further assembled to demonstrate its potential application in practical appliances.

SOURCES - IEEE Spectrum, Science Advances

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