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Cell Components

Negative Electrodes and Electrocatalysts

Elements of Hydrogen Evolution Catalyst

Studying the elements of the HER electrocatalyst helps us understand the basic composition of the catalyst from the atomic level. After extensive literature research and related books, as shown in Figure 3.5 [16], the elements commonly used in the HER electrocatalysts have been color coded. Because of chemical and physical properties, it can be roughly divided into three groups: (1) precious metal Pt, which is

Element and its reserves arrangement diagram of the hydrogen evolution catalyst

FIGURE 3.5 Element and its reserves arrangement diagram of the hydrogen evolution catalyst.

now commercialized by the HER electrocatalyst, and the best performance; (2) nonprecious metal HER electrocatalyst transition metal elements, mainly, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Mo, W; and (3) non-metallic elements constituting a non-precious metal HER electrocatalyst, it mainly includes В, C, N, R S, and Se. There are a total of 12 non-platinum elements. So far, the effective HER non-precious metal electrocatalysts reported above are basically composed of the above elements, including metal-non-metal binary catalysts, metal-metal-non-metal, or metal-non-metal—non-metallic trinary catalyst.

The fundamental reason why Pt-based HER electrocatalysts cannot be widely promoted is that the earth’s reserves are limited, resulting in high prices. Therefore, the HER electrocatalyst has two factors to consider, one is activity, that is, catalytic performance. The second is the earth’s reserves, that is, the cost of manufacturing. As shown in Figure 3.5, on the basis of studying the constituent elements of the HER electrocatalyst, the earth’s reserves of each element were further studied. By comparing their abundance in the earth’s crust, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Pt has the lowest abundance of about 3.7 x 10~6%, which is also the reason for its high price. (2) Six non-precious metals are sorted by abundance to W = Mo < Co < Cu < Ni « Fe. The earth’s reserves of each element provide us with an idea for designing the HER electrocatalysts. It can be seen that Fe has the highest reserves and the lowest price, so the Fe-based HER electrocatalyst has flourished in recent years, which helps to reduce the cost of hydrogen production.

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