Indian scientists create energy-efficient hydrogen production system

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In urea electrolysis, the energy-intensive equivalent of water separation, the evolution of oxygen, can be replaced by the oxidation of urea. For this process, low-cost, earth-abundant Ni-based catalysts are widely used.








hydrogen plant





According to an official statement released on Wednesday, Indian scientists have developed an electrocatalyst system for energy-efficient hydrogen synthesis using urea electrolysis, which is useful for urea-based waste treatment and low-cost hydrogen production.












Thanks to the electrolysis of urea, the energy required to produce hydrogen by electrolysis of water can be reduced by 70%.

In urea electrolysis, the energy-intensive equivalent of water separation, the evolution of oxygen, can be replaced by the oxidation of urea. For this process, low-cost, earth-abundant Ni-based catalysts are widely used.

“The main challenge associated with urea oxidation is to maintain prolonged catalyst activity because strong adsorption of the reactive intermediate (COx) at the active site, called catalyst poisoning, leads to loss of activity. “, according to a press release from the Ministry of Science and Technology.












Alex C., Gaurav Shukla, Muhammed Safeer NK, and Neena S. John of the Center for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, have developed a system based on nickel oxide (NiOx ) to produce hydrogen from the electro-oxidation of urea to achieve this goal.

They studied electrocatalysts in a series of papers published in the journals Electrochimica Acta and Journal of Materials Chemistry and found that surface-deficient NiO and Ni2O3 systems with more Ni3+ ions are more efficient electrocatalysts than standard NiO.












“Urea electrolysis is useful for urea waste treatment and low cost hydrogen production. India is one of the world’s leading producers of urea, with 244.55 lakh metric tons produced in 2019-20. As effluents, the nitrogen fertilizer industry produces a high concentration of ammonia and urea. This can be used for power generation to benefit our country,” say the scientists.







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