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Constructing robust 3D ionomer networks in the catalyst layer to achieve stable water electrolysis for green hydrogen production

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-14, 13:03 authored by Han Liu, Yang Yang, Jiawei Liu, Meiquan Huang, Kejie Lao, Yaping Pan, Xinhui Wang, Tian Hu, Linrui Wen, Shuwen Xu, Shuirong Li, Xiaoliang Fang, Wen-Feng LinWen-Feng Lin, Nanfeng Zheng, Hua Bing Tao
The widespread application of proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWEs) is hampered by insufficient lifetime caused by degradation of the anode catalyst layer (ACL). Here, an important degradation mechanism has been identified, attributed to poor mechanical stability causing the mass transfer channels to be blocked by ionomers under operating conditions. By using liquid-phase atomic force microscopy, we directly observed that the ionomers were randomly distributed (RD) in the ACL, which occupied the mass transfer channels due to swelling, creeping, and migration properties. Interestingly, we found that alternating treatments of the ACL in different water/temperature environments resulted in forming three-dimensional ionomer networks (3D INs) in the ACL, which increased the mechanical strength of microstructures by 3 times. Benefitting from the efficient and stable mass transfer channels, the lifetime was improved by 19 times. A low degradation rate of approximately 3.0 μV/h at 80 °C and a high current density of 2.0 A/cm2 was achieved on a 50 cm2 electrolyzer. These data demonstrated a forecasted lifetime of 80 000 h, approaching the 2026 DOE lifetime target. This work emphasizes the importance of the mechanical stability of the ACL and offers a general strategy for designing and developing a durable PEMWE.

Funding

Sustainable Hydrogen Production from Seawater Electrolysis

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Find out more...

National Key R&D Program of China (2023YFB4004604)

Science and Technology Projects (RD2021010401) of the Innovation Laboratory for Sciences and Technologies of Energy Materials of Fujian Province (IKKEM)

Science and Technology Project (2022L3077) of Fujian Province

History

School

  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering

Department

  • Chemical Engineering

Published in

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Volume

16

Issue

13

Pages

16408 - 16417

Publisher

American Chemical Society (ACS)

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© American Chemical Society

Publisher statement

© 2024 American Chemical Society. This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see [https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.4c03318, see ACS Articles on Request https://pubs.acs.org/page/4authors/benefits/index.html#articles-request]

Acceptance date

2024-03-03

Publication date

2024-03-19

Copyright date

2024

ISSN

1944-8244

eISSN

1944-8252

Language

  • en

Depositor

Prof Wen Feng Lin. Deposit date: 9 May 2024