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Fundamental Study of nanostructured electro-catalysts with reduced noble metal content for PEM based water electrolysis

Kadakia, Karan S (2014) Fundamental Study of nanostructured electro-catalysts with reduced noble metal content for PEM based water electrolysis. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Identification and development of non-noble metal based electro-catalysts or electro-catalysts with significant reduction of expensive noble metal contents (E.g. IrO2, Pt) with comparable electrochemical performance as the standard noble metal/metal oxide for proton exchange membrane (PEM) based water electrolysis would constitute a major breakthrough in the generation of hydrogen by water electrolysis. Accomplishing such a system would not only result reduction of the overall capital costs of PEM based water electrolyzers, but also help attain the targeted hydrogen production cost [< $ 3.0 / gallon gasoline equivalent (gge)] comparable to conventional liquid fuels.
In line with these goals, it was demonstrated that fluorine doped IrO2 thin films and nanostructured high surface area powders display remarkably higher electrochemical activity, and comparable durability as pure IrO2 electro-catalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) in PEM based water electrolysis. Furthermore, corrosion resistant SnO2 and NbO2 support has been doped with F and coupled with IrO2 or RuO2 for use as an OER electro-catalyst. A solid solution of SnO2:F or NbO2:F with only 20 - 30 mol.% IrO2 or RuO2 yielding a rutile structure in the form of thin films and bulk nanoparticles displays similar electrochemical activity and stability as pure IrO2/RuO2. This would lead to more than 70 mol.% reduction in the noble metal oxide content. Novel nanostructured ternary (Ir,Sn,Nb)O2 thin films of different compositions have also been studied. It has been shown that (Ir0.40Sn0.30Nb0.30)O2 shows similar electrochemical activity and enhanced chemical robustness as compared to pure IrO2. F doping of the ternary (Ir,Sn,Nb)O2 catalyst helps in further decreasing the noble metal oxide content of the catalyst.
As a result, these reduced noble metal oxide catalyst systems would potentially be preferred as OER electro-catalysts for PEM electrolysis. The excellent performance of the catalysts coupled with its robustness would make them great candidates for contributing to significant reduction in the overall capital costs of PEM based water electrolyzers. This thesis provides a detailed fundamental study of the synthesis, materials, characterization, theoretical studies and detailed electrochemical response and potential mechanisms of these novel electro-catalysts for OER processes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kadakia, Karan Sksk19@pitt.eduKSK19
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorKumta, Prashantpkumta@pitt.eduPKUMTA
Committee MemberEnick, Robert Mrme@pitt.eduRME
Committee MemberGao, Digaod@pitt.eduGAOD
Committee MemberManivannan,
Date: 16 June 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 March 2014
Approval Date: 16 June 2014
Submission Date: 14 March 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 539
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Chemical Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Electro-catalysts, Water electrolysis, Nanomaterials, Fuel cells
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2014 19:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:17


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