Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Novel compound boosts urea to sustainable energy reaction process, researchers report: Integrating energy-saving hydrogen production with urea electrooxidation over crystalline-amorphous NiO-CrOx electrocatalyst

Researchers developed a new electrocatalyst that boost the urea electrooxidation and achieve energy-saving hydrogen production.
CREDIT
Nano Research, Tsinghua University
Researchers developed a new electrocatalyst that boost the urea electrooxidation and achieve energy-saving hydrogen production. CREDIT Nano Research, Tsinghua University

Abstract:
You might be flushing the answer to sustainable energy down the toilet. Urea is a naturally abundant, safer, and practical option for fuels. Besides, urea splitting can achieve energy-saving hydrogen production, due to the operation cell voltage of urea splitting (0.37 V) is far lower than that of water splitting (1.23 V).But urea splitting reaction is too slow for practical use. To accelerate the reaction, researchers developed a new electrocatalyst that more quickly yields hydrogen with less energy use than traditional water splitting processes.

Novel compound boosts urea to sustainable energy reaction process, researchers report: Integrating energy-saving hydrogen production with urea electrooxidation over crystalline-amorphous NiO-CrOx electrocatalyst

Beijing, China | Posted on July 15th, 2022

“Propelled by energy demands and environmental concerns, it has become increasingly urgent to develop renewable, electricity-driven systems to replace fossil resources ,” said co-corresponding author Lifang Jiao, professor in the Key Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials Chemistry, Renewable Energy Conversion and Storage Center, College of Chemistry, Nankai University. “Electrolysis, or splitting water to produce hydrogen, is promising but severely hindered by the anodic oxygen evolution reaction, which is one step of the process to obtain the hydrogen, but is sluggish, energy inefficient and impractical. The urea oxidation reaction, however, requires a much lower voltage and could, theoretically, result in 70% energy savings if it replaced the oxygen evolution reaction in electrolysis.”



Jiao noted that the urea oxidation reaction could also help sanitized industrial and sanitary wastewater, since urea is a water pollutant.



“But, while the urea oxidation reaction is more energy efficient, it is still slow,” Jiao said. “It requires transferring six electrons, as well as the formation of multiple intermediates that must arrange and rearrange, making it intrinsically energy-consuming. That’s why effective electrocatalysts are so urgently needed to accelerate the process.”



Electrocatalysts comprise a bulk material with a surface layer that changes as it causes reactions. Guided by the internal bulk components, the surface reconstructs itself. The compound generated by reconstruction process is identified as the true active sites for oxidation reaction.



“Amorphous materials have become widely studied electrocatalysts due to their unique physical properties,” Jiao said. “The randomly arranged internal atoms in amorphous phase endow the materials with high structural flexibility, which can help to withstand structural disturbances and enhance corrosion resistance during electrocatalysis. This flexibility also optimizes the surface state and facilitates the surface self-reconstruction process, resulting in a material that tends to exhibit remarkable electrochemical activity.”



Jiao and the team reported a novel crystalline-amorphous NiO-CrOx heterojunction grown on Ni foam for UOR electrocatalyst, through a simple hydrothermal and oxidation treatment. Because Ni-precursor and Cr-precursor decompose at almost identical temperatures, the intergrowth of Ni- and Cr- oxides destroyed long-range order for crystalline, thus generating the crystalline-amorphous phase after air annealing



“The crystalline-amorphous interfaces of the designed electrocatalysts exhibit excellent urea oxidation reaction activity with an ultralow working potential,” Jiao said. “The amorphous component not only can accelerate reconstruction of the catalyst to promote the formation of active sites, but it can also enhance the adhesion ability of urea, boosting the urea oxidation reaction performance.”



The researchers found that when applied to urea electrooxidation and coupled with the hydrogen evolution reaction, which is the part of electrolysis that produces hydrogen, the electrocatalysts proved durable, with insignificant decay over 110 hours. They also only required 1.51 V to drive a current density of 50 mA cm-2 , compared to the 1.70 V required for the oxidation evolution reaction.



“Our findings show a promising future of replacing the oxidation evolution reaction with thermodynamically favorable reactions, such as the urea oxidation reaction,” Jiao said. “Our findings also shed light on the fabrication of catalysts with advanced heterostructures for the urea oxidation reaction.”



Jiao is also affiliated with the Haihe Laboratory of Sustainable Chemical Transformation. Other contributors include co-corresponding author Lihua Zhao, Tianjin Renai College; and Xuejie Cao, Tongzhou Wang, Hongye Qin and Guangliang Lin, Key Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials Chemistry, Renewable Energy Conversion and Storage Center, College of Chemistry, Nankai University.



The National Natural Science Foundation of China, the 111 Project, the Haihe Laboratory of Sustainable Chemical Transformations and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities supported this research.

####

About Tsinghua University Press
About Nano Research



Nano Research is a peer-reviewed, international and interdisciplinary research journal, sponsored by Tsinghua University and the Chinese Chemical Society. It offers readers an attractive mix of authoritative and comprehensive reviews and original cutting-edge research papers. After more than 10 years of development, it has become one of the most influential academic journals in the nano field. Rapid review to ensure quick publication is a key feature of Nano Research. In 2022 InCites Journal Citation Reports, Nano Research has an Impact Factor of 10.269 (9.136, 5 years), the total cites reached 29620, ranking first in China's international academic journals, and the number of highly cited papers reached 120, ranked among the top 2.8% of over 9000 academic journals.



About SciOpen



SciOpen is a professional open access resource for discovery of scientific and technical content published by the Tsinghua University Press and its publishing partners, providing the scholarly publishing community with innovative technology and market-leading capabilities. SciOpen provides end-to-end services across manuscript submission, peer review, content hosting, analytics, and identity management and expert advice to ensure each journal’s development by offering a range of options across all functions as Journal Layout, Production Services, Editorial Services, Marketing and Promotions, Online Functionality, etc. By digitalizing the publishing process, SciOpen widens the reach, deepens the impact, and accelerates the exchange of ideas.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Yao Meng
Tsinghua University Press

Office: 86-108-347-0574

Copyright © Tsinghua University Press

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

ARTICLE TITLE

Related News Press

News and information

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Chemistry

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Possible Futures

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Discoveries

HKU physicists found signatures of highly entangled quantum matter July 22nd, 2022

How different cancer cells respond to drug-delivering nanoparticles: The findings of a large-scale screen could help researchers design nanoparticles that target specific types of cancer July 22nd, 2022

The best semiconductor of them all? Researchers have found a material that can perform much better than silicon. The next step is finding practical and economic ways to make it July 22nd, 2022

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Announcements

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

Energy

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

A novel graphene based NiSe2 nanocrystalline array for efficient hydrogen evolution reaction July 15th, 2022

New iron catalyst could – finally! – make hydrogen fuel cells affordable: Study shows the low-cost catalyst can be a viable alternative to platinum that has stymied commercialization of the eco-friendly fuel for decades because it’s so expensive July 8th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project