Producing green hydrogen using electrolysis is still expensive. This is partly because rare metals such as platinum are required for the process. Platinum is a scarce precious metal that is more expensive than gold. Korean scientists now say they have found an alternative to this precious metal. This can reduce the costs of producing green hydrogen by 20 percent.
Alternative to Platinum
The scientists replaced the platinum with a piece of textile that they first ‘carbonise’ at temperatures of 900 degrees. That in itself is an achievement because carbonization normally only occurs at temperatures of 2000 degrees. Carbonization transforms the substance into a new type of material that conducts electricity very well. They then dip the burnt substance into a bath with a nickel solution. By energizing this, the nickel solution binds to the piece of fabric, creating a new type of material.
Mass production of green hydrogen
The discovery, published at the end of August in the scientific journal Energy & Environmental Science of the Royal Society of Chemistry, is important because it shows that green hydrogen can also be made without using rare metals such as platinum. In addition, less voltage was needed to produce hydrogen. The invention brings cheap mass production of green hydrogen one step closer.