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An alkaline water electrolyzer with nickel electrodes enables efficient high current density operation

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Schalenbach,  Maximilian
Electrocatalysis, Interface Chemistry and Surface Engineering, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society;

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Kasian,  Olga
Electrocatalysis, Interface Chemistry and Surface Engineering, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society;

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Mayrhofer,  Karl Johann Jakob
Electrocatalysis, Interface Chemistry and Surface Engineering, Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Max Planck Society;
Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (IEK-11), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Egerlandstrasse 3, 91058 Erlangen, Germany;
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91058 Erlangen, Germany;

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Citation

Schalenbach, M., Kasian, O., & Mayrhofer, K. J. J. (2018). An alkaline water electrolyzer with nickel electrodes enables efficient high current density operation. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 43(27), 11932-11938. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.04.219.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-E5F5-8
Abstract
Low-temperature industrial water electrolysis is typically conducted using either liquid alkaline electrolytes or acidic polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs). The latter approach is considered to be more efficient but also more expensive as it requires Pt and Ir based catalysts. This study reports on an alkaline water electrolyzer with Ni electrodes that operates at a current density of 2 A/cm2 with a cell voltage of 1.85 V, which provides a comparable voltage-current characteristic to the state-of-the-art PEM water electrolyzers. Thin Ni mesh electrodes with surface areas that are thousand times higher than the geometric area were manufactured by an easily scalable and cheap process, i.e. metallurgical hot dip galvanization with subsequent de-alloying. With a thin porous polymer of approximately 140μm as the diaphragm a low cell resistance of 0.11 Ω cm−2 was obtained. © 2018 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC