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Highly Efficient and Selective Metal Oxy-Boride Electrocatalysts for Oxygen Evolution from Alkali and Saline Solutions

  • Suraj Gupta*
    Suraj Gupta
    School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GH, United Kingdom
    *Email: [email protected], [email protected]
    More by Suraj Gupta
  • Mark Forster
    Mark Forster
    Department of Chemistry and Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZD, United Kingdom
    More by Mark Forster
  • Asha Yadav
    Asha Yadav
    Department of Physics, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400098, India
    More by Asha Yadav
  • Alexander J. Cowan
    Alexander J. Cowan
    Department of Chemistry and Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZD, United Kingdom
  • Nainesh Patel
    Nainesh Patel
    Department of Physics, University of Mumbai, Vidyanagari, Santacruz (East), Mumbai 400098, India
  • , and 
  • Maulik Patel
    Maulik Patel
    School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GH, United Kingdom
    More by Maulik Patel
Cite this: ACS Appl. Energy Mater. 2020, 3, 8, 7619–7628
Publication Date (Web):July 7, 2020
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    With a motivation to discover efficient materials for direct electrolysis of seawater, bimetallic oxy-boride (Co–Fe–O–B) nanostructures were developed using a facile hydrothermal synthesis strategy, with varying content of Fe. The oxygen evolution performance of the optimized Co–Fe–O–B catalyst in alkali water (1 M KOH) showed higher reaction rates owing to a Co3O4–core–Co2B-shell structure, which assists in the formation of active CoOOH species at lower potentials and offers a smaller charge-transfer resistance. The best-performing catalyst in alkali water was found to be highly active (294 mV to achieve 10 mA/cm2) in saline water (1 M KOH + 0.5 M NaCl), with 100% O2 selectivity, establishing its potential for seawater electrolysis. The high activity and selectivity of the oxy-boride catalyst in alkaline saline electrolyte presents a fresh avenue for research in low-cost materials, especially boron-containing compounds, for selective seawater splitting.

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    • Additional characterization data (SEM, STEM, HR-STEM, EDAX maps, XRD, XPS, and ICP-OES), additional electrochemical data (LSV, CV profiles, Tafel plots, and Faradaic efficiency graphs), and data representation tables (PDF)

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