NewHydrogen, Inc., a developer of clean energy solutions, offered an update on its sponsored research program at UCLA, which is aimed at lowering the cost of green hydrogen production.
Economically and sustainably producing hydrogen from renewable sources is critical for a sustainable energy future.
The research’s preliminary findings suggested a highly effective method for lowering the cost of green hydrogen by substituting much more stable non-precious metal-based oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts that not only cost less but also last significantly longer in proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.
As a first step, the researchers developed a non-precious metal-based catalyst that later displayed a considerable improvement in OER under acidic circumstances after a portion of the existing metal element was substituted into the material structure.
Due to the novel catalyst’s low cost and exceptional durability, it is an excellent contender for commercial water electrolysis systems operating at high current densities.
Recent research initiatives focused on further modification of the catalyst structure and optimization of the loading conditions resulted in a considerable increase in OER catalytic activity as well as increased stability, extending the catalyst’s anticipated life by 50%.
Along with the low-cost non-precious metal OER catalyst that is being developed to replace expensive iridium in PEM electrolyzers, the Company is also creating hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts. Researchers are making progress toward the creation of platinum-based HER catalysts that consume an order of magnitude less platinum but have significantly better stability. This is consistent with the Company’s objective of producing OER catalysts that are not only less expensive but also last significantly longer (and therefore do not need to be replaced as often).
“Prior to scaling up the process for studies with a prototype electrolyzer in late 2022, researchers will continue to explore additional improvements to both the OER and the HER catalysts to maximize the overall performance of an actual water electrolysis device,” said Spencer Hall, COO of NewHydrogen. “While these updates are more technical in nature, we will continue to share the technology objectives and critical steps of the process with the public and broader capital markets.”