Efficient and Stable Low Iridium Loaded Anodes for PEM Water Electrolysis Made Possible by Nanofiber Interlayers
Significant reduction of the precious metal catalyst loading is one of the key challenges for the commercialization of proton-exchange membrane water electrolyzers. In this work we combine IrOx nanofibers with a conventional nanoparticle-based IrOx anode catalyst layer. With this hybrid design we can reduce the iridium loading by more than 80% while maintaining performance. In spite of an ultralow overall catalyst loading of 0.2 mg(Ir)/cm(2), a cell with a hybrid layer shows similar performance compared to a state-of-the-art cell with a catalyst loading of 1.2 mg(Ir)/cm(2) and clearly outperforms identically loaded reference cells with pure IrOx nanoparticle and pure nanofiber anodes. The improved performance is attributed to a combination of good electric contact and high porosity of the IrOx nanofibers with high surface area of the IrOx nanoparticles. Besides the improved performance, the hybrid layer also shows better stability in a potential cycling and a 150 h constant current test compared to an identically loaded nanoparticle reference.
Published in: ACS Applied Energy Materials, 10.1021/acsaem.0c00735, American Chemical Society (ACS)