Flash activation of conductive oxide materials for low-temperature oxygen evolving anodes
Mines PI: Megan Holtz (Metallurgical and Materials Engineering)
NREL PI: Elliot Padgett (Chemistry)
Virtual via Zoom
We propose to understand conductivity mechanisms, electrochemical stability, and processibility of flashed titania for Proton exchange membrane electrolysis (PEME) catalyst supports and microporous layer (MPLs). This project would lay the groundwork to understand the prospects for flash-activated ceramics to revolutionize OER anodes.
Our vision is to uncover the fundamental mechanisms of conductivity in flashed titania to determine if it is suitable for an urgent, applied need in electrolysis. Oxygen-evolving anodes are a critical component for several clean energy technologies including water electrolysis for hydrogen production and CO2 reduction for carbon-neutral fuel and chemical synthesis. Proton exchange membrane (PEM)-based devices present several important advantages, critical to achieving the Hydrogen Earthshot. However, very few materials are suitable for the acidic, oxidizing conditions present in their oxygen-evolving anodes. State-of-the-art PEM electrolysis (PEME) uses large amounts of costly IrO2 as the anode catalyst and titanium as the porous transport layer (PTL) that provides transport of electrons, water, and oxygen to/from the catalyst layer.