European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

Spin-polarized Catalysts for Energy-Efficient AEM Water Electrolysis

Project description

Spin-polarised catalysts for cost-effective hydrogen production

Hydrogen tops the EU’s list as a promising, clean, cost-effective and low-carbon fuel, and water electrolysis based on renewable energy represents a potential technology for its production. However, wide implementation is prevented by the requirement of rare and expensive platinum group metals (PGMs) to catalyse the cathodic hydrogen evolution reaction and the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER). Therefore, the development of efficient PGM-free catalysts is instrumental for realising the EU's decarbonisation objectives. The EU-funded SpinCat project will create a new class of magnetic earth-abundant catalysts that, through spin polarisation, can promote catalytic activity towards OER by a factor of three as compared to state-of-the-art catalysts, establishing cost-effective hydrogen production without the use of PGMs.

Objective

For Europe to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, H2 has been identified as one of the priority areas for clean, affordable and secure energy to replace oil and gas, in accordance with the European Green Deal. Water electrolysis using renewable energy is the leading energy storage contender as a clean H2 source to establish a sustainable H2 economy. However, the necessity of using rare and expensive platinum groups metals (PGMs) to catalyse the cathodic hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and the anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) hinders the wide implementation of water electrolysis. Therefore, the development of efficient PGM-free catalysts is of utmost importance for Europe to reach its decarbonization objectives.

SpinCat addresses this need by realizing a new class of magnetic earth-abundant catalysts that, through spin polarization, will boost catalytic activity towards OER by a factor of three as compared to state-of-the-art catalysts. Further enhancements to catalytic activity will be obtained through the use of external magnetic field during catalysis. Through an interplay of experiment and theory, we will design and prepare catalyst materials featuring optimal spin polarization effects, gain fundamental knowledge on the parameters affecting the OER activity of magnetic materials, and develop a general theoretical model for the overall description of the influence of the electron spin in electrocatalysis. The technology will be demonstrated in a magnetically enhanced anion-exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyser prototype, which merges the benefits of both internal and external magnetic effects.

The long-term vision of SpinCat is to establish cost-effective H2 production via reducing the cost of membrane-based electrolyser technology by omitting the need of PGMs. This project will contribute to establishing Europe as the world leader in electrolyser technology for renewable H2 production.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01

Coordinator

INTERNATIONAL IBERIAN NANOTECHNOLOGY LABORATORY
Net EU contribution
€ 744 375,00
Address
AVENIDA MESTRE JOSE VEIGA
4715-330 Braga
Portugal

See on map

Region
Continente Norte Cávado
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 744 375,00

Participants (4)