Electrochemical characterization of a NiCo/Zn cathode for hydrogen generation

Autores UPV


Hydrogen is considered to be the most promising candidate as a future energy carrier. One of the most used technologies for the electrolytic hydrogen production is alkaline water electrolysis. However, due to the high energy requirements, the cost of hydrogen produced in such a way is high. In continuous search to improve this process using advanced electrocatalytic materials for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), high area NiCo/Zn electrodes were prepared on AISI 304 stainless steel substrates by electrodeposition. After preparing, the alloys were leached of to remove part of the zinc and generate a porous layer (type Raney electrodes). The presence of a thin Ni layer between the substrate and the Raney coating favour the adherence of the latter. The porous NiCo/Zn electrode was characterized by SEM, EDX, confocal laser microscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. HER on this electrode was evaluated in 30 wt.% KOH solution by means of polarization curves, hydrogen discharge curves, and galvanostatic tests. Results show that the developed electrode presents a most efficient behaviour for HER when comparing with the smooth Ni cathode. The high electrode activity was mainly attributed to the high surface area of the developed electrode. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.