Nickel hydroxide electrodes for water splitting

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Mrs. Noya Hayek




Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can be converted to electrical energy on demand, with water being the only byproduct. Water splitting (electrolysis) is considered one of the most well-established technologies for H2 production. The main problem in today’s water-splitting methods is inefficiency per price, caused by drawbacks such as low energy production efficiency and the necessity of using expensive rare materials. Decoupled water splitting by E–TAC (Electrochemically – Thermally Activated Chemical process) is designed to address these deficiencies by using the oxidation of a Ni(OH)2 anode, replacing the traditional OER anode at the hydrogen production step, followed by its spontaneous chemical reduction upon heating that causes oxygen emission at the oxygen production step. In this highly reversible method, hydrogen and oxygen are produced in two distinct steps separated in time and space and production of pure hydrogen is achieved at overall higher voltage efficiencies compared to traditional electrolysis. So far, we have used anodes prepared by electrochemical impregnation (ECI) of Ni(OH)2 onto a conductive nickel foam substrate. This work provides an alternative route to anode fabrication, utilizing carbon-based substrates to create a thinner, lighter, and flexible anode that is less expensive than the metallic substrates used today for this application. The investigated anodes have shown excellent performance at high volumetric and gravimetric current densities, as well as high stability and excellent Faradic efficiencies of nearly 100%.

Supervisor: Prof. Avner Rothschild