Foundry staff and users designed and created a nickel-based catalyst that is stable and highly effective at making hydrogen from liquid carriers.
Significance and Impact
The new catalyst is best in its class in terms of hydrogen productivity and is much cheaper than alternatives. It points the way towards cheap, safe hydrogen delivery and will help make hydrogen a viable energy source for a wider range of applications.
- The researchers designed and synthesized the catalyst by depositing ultrasmall nickel nanoclusters on defect-rich boron nitride (BN) nanosheets.
- The interface of the BN substrate plays a key role in guiding the nucleation and growth of Ni nanoclusters and stabilizes them against poisoning and sintering.
- X-ray spectroscopy and DFT calculations revealed that Ni nucleation preferentially occurs at defect sites, leading to the catalyst’s high productivity, selectivity and stability.
Z. Zhang, J. Su, A. Sanz Matias, M. Gordon, Y-S Liu, J. Guo, C. Song, C. Dun, D. Prendergast, G. Somorjai, J.J. Urban. PNAS. 2020 117(47). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2015897117
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