Electrochemical reactions are at the heart of a variety of ways of dissolving water molecules to provide alternative fuels for transportation. Iridium, for example, must be used as a catalyst in this process, which restricts its potential for fuel generation because of its limited supply.
Metal hydroxide-organic framework has been developed by researchers at MIT and other universities, which is constructed of affordable and readily accessible components. Engineers can fine-tune the structure and composition of the catalysts to equal or exceed the performance of conventional relatively costly catalysts thanks to the variety of materials.
Nature Materials has published the results of the study.
Oxygen evolution is a typical process in electrochemical generation of chemicals, fuels, and other materials. Oxygen evolution produces hydrogen as a byproduct, which may be used as a fuel or undergo chemical reactions to generate alternative transportation fuels, for use in ammonia production or fertiliser, and for the reduction of carbon dioxide in order to reduce emissions.
Nevertheless, all of these responses are slow in the absence of outside assistance. Energy or voltage must be sacrificed in order to speed up reactions with sluggish kinetics. As a result of the increased input energy, the total efficiency is poor. Using catalysts is the only way to get the job done.
Catalysts, up until this point, have all relied on expensive or uncommon late transition metals, such as iridium oxide.