Electrocatalysis for water electrolyzer, fuel cells, and CO2 reduction


To achieve high conversion efficiency between chemical and electrical energies, it is crucial to develop highly efficient electrocatalysts. The processes of our interest include water electrolyzer, fuel cells and CO2 reduction, which are all relevant to the sustainable energy demand. The materials are also required to be durable for long-term reactions and versatile to various reaction conditions. Furthermore, such processes are often operated at large scale, and therefore use of abundant elements is preferred to reduce cost of the devices.
Recent progress in the nanomaterials synthesis enables us to investigate materials with ubiquitous elements for catalytic and electrocatalytic properties because they essentially have high surface area and work with active sites for catalysis. A novel preparation technique using sol-gel method, electro-deposition, hydrothermal, and hard-template methods are studied to synthesize nano-oxide, -nitride, -carbide and their carbon composites. These materials serve as new types of non-noble metal catalysts for various catalytic reactions and electrocatalytic reactions, including hydrogen evolution reaction, CO2 reduction reaction, oxygen reduction reaction, hydrogen oxidation reaction and oxygen evolution reaction.

The scheme illustrates an example of selective non-noble metal catalyst for CO2 electroreduction to CO.


ChemPlusChem 2016, ACS Catal. 2016, J. Phys. Chem. C 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013,

Angew. Chem. 2015, J. Mater. Chem. A 2015, 2014, 2013, J. Power Sources 2015,

Adv. Energy Mater. 2014, ChemSusChem, 2014, PCCP 2015, 2014,

ChemElectroChem 2014, Catal. Today 2014, ChemComm 2012, Chem. Asian J. 2012