The goal of securing a pollution-free environment and meeting future energy demands has motivated the development of renewable energy sources to replace conventional fuels. Electrocatalytic approaches such as those depending on the oxygen evolution reaction (OER) along with the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) for water splitting have attracted great attention for electrochemical energy conversion and storage as renewable energy devices.
The present challenge is to develop an efficient, durable, and low-cost bifunctional electrocatalyst for these reactions to help to meet the need for environmentally friendly renewable energy systems. The high cost and scarcity associated with platinum and ruthenium based electrocatalysts have greatly hindered any extensive application for them in water splitting. Accordingly, developing an efficient alternative electrocatalyst by using earth-abundant inexpensive elements to substitute for those noble metal catalysts is of great significance.
Metal/metal oxide-incorporated carbon nanocomposites have attracted great attention as alternative bifunctional electrocatalytic materials for efficient water splitting. Most of the bifunctional electrocatalysts developed so far, however, are powdery and require conductive as well as binding components for electrode fabrication, which makes the process time-consuming and complicated for large-scale production.
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Source: Advanced Science News