Application of Phase-Pure Nickel Phosphide Nanoparticles as Cathode Catalysts for Hydrogen Production in Microbial Electrolysis Cells: Article No. 122067

Susan Habas, Joshua Schaidle, Kyoung-Yeol Kim, Bruce Logan

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39 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Transition metal phosphide catalysts such as nickel phosphide (Ni2P) have shown excellent activities for the hydrogen evolution reaction, but they have primarily been studied in strongly acidic or alkaline electrolytes. In microbial electrolysis cells (MECs), however, the electrolyte is usually a neutral pH to support the bacteria. Carbon-supported phase-pure Ni2P nanoparticle catalysts (Ni2P/C) were synthesized using solution-phase methods and their performance was compared to Pt/C and Ni/C catalysts in MECs. The Ni2P/C produced a similar quantity of hydrogen over a 24 h cycle (0.29 +/- 0.04 L-H2/L-reactor) as that obtained using Pt/C (0.32 +/- 0.03 L-H2/L) or Ni/C (0.29 +/- 0.02 L-H2/L). The mass normalized current density of the Ni2P/C was 14 times higher than that of the Ni/C, and the Ni2P/C exhibited stable performance over 11 days. Ni2P/C may therefore be a useful alternative to Pt/C or other Ni-based catalysts in MECs due to its chemical stability over time.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
JournalBioresource Technology
Volume293
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-74938

Keywords

  • fermentation effluent
  • hydrogen evolution reaction
  • microbial electrolysis cell
  • nanoparticles
  • non-precious metal catalysts
  • phase-pure metal phosphide

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