Argonne National Laboratory’s PGM-free OER catalysts derived from electrospun metal-organic framework demonstrated unprecedented activity and durability compared to other PGM-free materials, with the performance approaching that of commercial Ir. The new catalysts are operable in both acidic and alkaline media. It was incorporated into an operating proton exchange membrane electrolyzer and delivered a very high current density of 2A/cm2 at 2.4 V, the first of its kind for a PGM-free OER catalyst.
Argonne catalysts cost 2,000x less than the commercial Ir catalyst in material costs. It opens the prospect of replacing Ir as the electrocatalyst of water splitting through PEMWE, therefore removing the bottleneck for widespread green hydrogen production. The ANL’s OER catalyst also could serve as the electrocatalyst for other green energy applications, such as CO2 reduction to chemicals, and nitrogen reduction to ammonia.