Using energy from solar modules and wind turbines, water can be split by electrolysis into its constituents hydrogen and oxygen without producing any dangerous emissions. As the availability of energy from renewable sources varies when producing green, i.e. CO2-neutral, hydrogen, it is very important to know the behavior of the catalysts under high loading and dynamic conditions. “At high currents, strong oxygen bubble evolution can be observed on the anode, which aggravates measurement. It has made it impossible so far to obtain a reliable measurement signal,” says the first author of the study, Dr. Steffen Czioska from KIT’s Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP). By combining various techniques, the researchers have now succeeded in fundamentally investigating the surface of the iridium oxide catalyst under dynamic operation conditions. “For the first time, we have studied the behavior of the catalyst on the atomic level in spite of strong bubble evolution,” Czioska says. The American Chemical Society (ACS) considers the importance of KIT’s publication to the international community to be high and recommends it as the ACS Editor’s Choice.
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