Researchers in Korea have developed a new method of green hydrogen production that reduces the use of rare metals, lowering its cost.
Headed by Dr. Hyun S. Park and Sung Jong Yoo, the research team have engineered a way to significantly decrease the amount of platinum and iridium in the protective layers of electrolysis devices without sacrificing performance or durability.
Instead, researchers substituted the iridium with iron nitride, an inexpensive material with a large surface area.
This is then coated with a smaller quantity of iridium, markedly decreasing the overall cost, and making the device more economically efficient.
As well as reducing costs, this method also primes these devices for a more widespread adoption, as the scarcity of precious metals used in the machines has previously been an obstacle.
Dr. Hyun S. Park of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology said: “Reducing the amount of iridium catalyst and developing alternative materials for the platinum protective layer is essential for the economic and widespread use of polymer electrolyte membrane green hydrogen production devices, and the use of inexpensive iron nitride instead of platinum is of great significance.
“After further observing the performance and durability of the electrode, we will apply it to commercial devices soon.”