The Bigger Picture
Electrocatalytic water splitting is a green approach to producing clean H2 fuel, especially when it is driven by renewable energy sources. Conventional water electrolysis always produces H2 and O2 simultaneously under corrosive acidic or alkaline conditions with large voltage inputs, posing safety concerns of H2/O2 mixing. Therefore, it is desirable to develop a new electrolyzer design for decoupled water splitting in an eco-friendly neutral solution with small voltage inputs to enable separated H2 and O2 evolution. Herein, we report (ferrocenylmethyl)trimethylammonium chloride and Na4[Fe(CN)6] as proton-independent electron reservoirs for achieving separated H2 and O2 evolution in near-neutral solution driven by electricity or solar cells under sunlight irradiation. Na4[Fe(CN)6] can also integrate H2 evolution with organic oxidation to yield H2 and high-value organic products. This work offers promising economic and safety advantages for sustainable H2 production and organic transformation.
Li, Wei; Jiang, Nan; Hu, Bo; Liu, Xuan; Song, Fuzhan; Han, Guanqun; Jordan, Taylor J.; Hanson, Tanner B.; Liu, T. Leo; and Sun, Yujie, "Electrolyzer Design for Flexible Decoupled Water Splitting and Organic Upgrading with Electron Reservoirs" (2018). Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty Publications. Paper 755.