Highly Efficient, Biochar-Derived Molybdenum Carbide Hydrogen Evolution Electrocatalyst

by Humagain, Govinda; MacDougal, Kevin; MacInnis, Judy; Lowe, James M.; Coridan, Robert H.; MacQuarrie, Stephanie; Dasog, Mita

The establishment of an economic means of hydrogen production by electrochemical water-splitting can help alleviate the intermittency problem associated with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and also provide for the extensive commercialization of fuel cell technologies. To enable this, cheap, active, and stable hydrogen evolution catalysts that can replace precious metal catalysts such as Pt must be developed. Herein, a scalable synthesis of porous Mo2C nanostructures derived from biochar, an inexpensive plant byproduct, is reported. The Mo2C catalyst materials prepared using this solid-state method, loaded on planar substrates, require overpotentials of only 35 and 60 mV to drive current densities of -10 and -100 mA cm(-2) in 0.50 m H2SO4 solution and exhibit stable operation for >100 h at operating current densities of -10 and -100 mA cm(-2).

Journal
Advanced Energy Materials
Volume
8
Issue
29
Year
2018
Start Page
1801461
ISBN/ISSN
1614-6832
DOI
10.1002/aenm.201801461