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New electrocatalyst makes hydrogen more economically and efficiently

from The Engineer

The most efficient electrolyzers — which split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen — use corrosive acids and electrode materials made of the metal compounds iridium oxide or ruthenium oxide. Iridium oxide is the more stable of the two, but iridium is one of the least abundant elements on Earth. "Much of the previous work was performed with electrolysers made from just two elements – one metal and oxygen," said Hong Yang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "In a recent study, we found if a compound has two metal elements — yttrium and ruthenium — and oxygen, the rate of water-splitting reaction increased." more

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