Decoupled electrochemical water splitting: from fundamentals to applications

McHugh, P. J., Stergiou, A. D. and Symes, M. (2020) Decoupled electrochemical water splitting: from fundamentals to applications. Advanced Energy Materials, 10(44), 2002453. (doi: 10.1002/aenm.202002453)

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Abstract

Electrolytic water splitting to generate hydrogen and oxygen is one of the most promising ways in which to harness intermittent renewable power sources and store the energy these provide as a clean‐burning and sustainable fuel. In recent years, this has led to an explosion in reports on electrochemical water splitting, most of them focused on improving the efficiency of the electrochemical reactions themselves. However, efficient generation of hydrogen and oxygen is of little use if these products cannot be kept separate and the community is now coming to realize that there are considerable challenges associated with maintaining adequate separation between H2 and O2 during electrolysis driven by intermittent renewable sources. Decoupled electrolysis (whereby oxygen production occurs with reduction of a suitable mediator and hydrogen production is then paired with the reoxidation of this mediator) offers a solution to many of these challenges by allowing O2 and H2 to be produced at different times, at different rates, and even in completely different electrochemical cells. In this review, an overview of recent progress in the field of decoupled electrolysis for water splitting is given and the potential that this approach has for enabling a range of other sustainable chemical processes is explored.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:M.D.S. thanks the Royal Society for a University Research Fellowship (UF150104) and acknowledges the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for supporting his work in this area (EP/K023004/1 and EP/R020914/1). P.J.M. and A.D.S. both thank the Royal Society for Ph.D. scholarships.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stergiou, Mr Athanasios and Symes, Dr Mark and McHugh, Mr Patrick
Authors: McHugh, P. J., Stergiou, A. D., and Symes, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Advanced Energy Materials
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1614-6832
ISSN (Online):1614-6840
Published Online:13 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Advanced Energy Materials 10(44): 2002453
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
173495Driving energetically uphill processes using metal-ligand coordination complexesMark SymesThe Royal Society (ROYSOC)UF150104Chemistry
167864Energy and the Physical Sciences: Hydrogen Production using a Proton Electron BufferLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K023004/1Chemistry
301241Ultra-Reduced Polyoxometalates as Electron-Coupled-Proton-Systems for Energy StorageLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/R020914/1Chemistry