Intermetallics as cathode materials in the electrolytic hydrogen production
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The intermetallics of transition metals have been investigated as cathode materials for the production of hydrogen by electrolysis from water-KOH solutions, in an attempt to increase the electrolytic process efficiency. We found that the best effect among all investigated cathodes (Hf2Fe, Zr-Pt, Nb-Pd(II), Pd-Ta, Nb-Pd(II), Ti-Pt) exhibits the Hf2Fe phase. These materials were compared with conventional cathodes (Fe and Ni), often used in the alkaline electrolysis. A significant upgrade of the electrolytic efficiency using intermetallics, either in pure KOH electrolyte or in combination with ionic activators added in situ. was achieved. The effects of these cathode materials on the process efficiency were discussed in the context of transition metal features that issue from their electronic configuration. (C) 2004 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.