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Mines-NREL Nexus Seed Project Presentation: Development of Biomass Waste Electrocatalysts for Localized Green H2 Generation and Sustainable Hydrocarbon Chemistry

February 21 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


The need for hydrolysis technology to operate on versatile aqueous water sources is becoming an ever-pressing
societal demand given the need for localized production of clean burning fuels coupled with a lack of pure water
in many areas across the globe.While seawater is an obvious candidate of choice as an inherently available
feedstock for electrolysis, the direct use of seawater often leads to issues with undesirable reaction chemistry,
such as the oxidation of chloride to corrosive chlorine gas at the anode.

Wastewater from the food and beverage industry is one possible alternative to seawater, as it often consists of
low concentration of potentially parasitic cations and anions yet is often of sufficient conductivity for possible
direct implementation. Further,many sources contain sufficient concentrations of hydrocarbon species (sugars,
alcohols, proteins, etc),which are known to oxidized more readily than water at lower operational potentials. If
food/beverage wastewater could be successfully implemented into an electrolyzer, this technology could
indirectly couple as a possible means to upcycle waste into local green H2 while providing ameans for lower local
waste footprints.

Our proposed efforts will focus on both the fundamental science of engineering hydrocarbon electrooxidation
catalysis and their eventual scale up and deployment in a prototype electrolyzer (fig. 1). Defect engineering 2D
nanocatalysts will be developed. Seed funds from Nexus will be used to develop a range of proposals, designing
catalysts and electrolyzers that operate on feedstocks from food and beverage waste.


February 21
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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