Catalyst Synthesis

About

The focuses of our research team are on the development of electro-catalysts and their applications in CO2 and H2O electrolysis and fuel cells based on solid electrolyte membrane. Particularly, we are aiming to develop advanced electro-catalysts based on noble and non-noble metals as well as alloys. Additionally, the design and optimization of catalyst layers (electrodes), based on advanced catalysts is a focus. The general aims are to improve energy efficiency and significantly reduce precious metal usage and thus the costs of fuel cell and electrolysis systems. In addition, we research and design catalysts for novel electrochemical reactor systems for the synthesis of energy carrier molecules.

Research Topics

Our research group work on the following topics:

  • Advanced catalysts for proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWE)
  • Non-precious hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts
  • CO2 electrolysis
  • Catalysts for fuel cells und electrochemical synthesis reactors

Contact

Dr. Chuyen Pham

IEK-11

Building HIERN-Cauerstr / Room 3005

+49 9131-8520843

Advanced catalysts for proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers (PEMWE)

PEMWE is considered the most promising type for renewable energy conversion, but its wide application is still hindered. This is due to both high capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating costs for H2 production (OPEX). These two main obstacles could be mitigated by the development and implementation of an efficient OER catalyst that could reduce the precious metal burden and energy consumption of PEMWEs.

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Non-precious hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts

Pt nanoparticles on a porous carbon support are currently the best catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in the cathode. The scarcity and high cost of platinum motivate the search and development for alternative catalysts.

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CO2-electrolysis

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) is an ideal strategy to keep control of CO2 emission, while still maintaining sustainable industrialization. CO2 electrolysis enables the carbon utilization by transforming CO2 into value added chemicals such as CO, ethylene, ethanol, …

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Catalysts for fuel cells und electrochemical synthesis reactors

The introduction of hydrogen faces societal resistance due to safety concerns and high management costs for molecular hydrogen. One approach is to use liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) to store hydrogen in their chemical bonds. We design and develop catalysts for various reactors in this field.

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PEMWE is considered the most promising type for renewable energy conversion, but its wide application is still hindered. This is due to both high capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operating costs for H2 production (OPEX). These two main obstacles could be mitigated by the development and implementation of an efficient OER catalyst that could reduce the precious metal burden and energy consumption of PEMWEs.

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Members

Publications

2021

· C.V. Pham, D. Escalera‐López, K. Mayrhofer, S. Cherevko, S. Thiele, Essentials of High Performance Water Electrolyzers–From Catalyst Layer Materials to Electrode Engineering, Adv. Energy Mater. 11 (44) (2021), 2101998.

· A. Martin, P. Trinke, C. V. Pham, M. Bühler, M. Bierling, P.K.R. Holzapfel, B. Bensmann, S. Thiele, R. H. Rauschenbach, On the Correlation between the Oxygen in Hydrogen Content and the Catalytic Activity of Cathode Catalysts in PEM Water Electrolysis, J. Electrochem. Soc. 168 (11) (2021), 114513.

2020

· C.V. Pham, M. Bühler, J. Knöppel, M. Bierling, D. Seeberger, D. Escalera-López, K. J.J. Mayrhofer, S. Cherevko, S. Thiele, IrO2 coated TiO2 core-shell microparticles advance performance of low loading proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers, Appl. Catal. B, 269 (2020) 118762.

· Fabrication of a Robust PEM Water Electrolyzer Based on Non‐Noble Metal Cathode Catalyst: [Mo3S13]2− Clusters Anchored to N‐Doped Carbon Nanotubes, PKR Holzapfel, M Bühler, D Escalera‐López, M Bierling, FD Speck, K. JJ Mayrhofer, S. Cherevko, C. V. Pham, S. Thiele, Small 16 (37) (2020), 2003161.

· P. Holzapfel, M. Bühler, C. V. Pham, F. Hegge, T. Böhm, D. McLaughlin, M. Breitwieser, S. Thiele, Directly coated membrane electrode assemblies for proton exchange membrane water electrolysis, Electrochemistry Communications, 110 (2020) 1066402.

Further publication

· C. V. Pham, A. Zana, M. Arenz, S. Thiele, [Mo3S13]2− Cluster Decorated Sulfur‐doped Reduced Graphene Oxide as Noble Metal‐Free Catalyst for Hydrogen Evolution Reaction in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolyzers, ChemElectroChem, 5 (2018), 2672–2680.

· C. V. Pham, B. Britton, T. Böhm, S. Holdcroft, S. Thiele, Doped, Defect‐Enriched Carbon Nanotubes as an Efficient Oxygen Reduction Catalyst for Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, Adv. Mater. Interfaces, 5 (2018), 1800184

· C. V. Pham, M. Klingele, B. Britton, K. Rao Vuyyuru, T. Unmuessig, S. Holdcroft, A. Fischer, S. Thiele, Tri-doped reduced graphene oxide as a metal-free catalyst for oxygen reduction reaction demonstrated in acidic and alkaline polymer electrolyte fuel cells, Advanced Sustainable Systems, 1 (5) (2017), 1600038.

Last Modified: 14.07.2022