Phenyl Oxidation Impacts the Durability of Alkaline Membrane Water Electrolyzer

TitlePhenyl Oxidation Impacts the Durability of Alkaline Membrane Water Electrolyzer
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLi D, Matanovic I, Lee AS, Park EJoo, Fujimoto C, Chung HT, Kim YSeung
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Published on March 13th, 2019.
The durability of alkaline anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyzers is a critical requirement for implementing this technology in cost-effective hydrogen production. Here, we report that the electrochemical oxidation of the adsorbed phenyl group (found in the ionomer) on oxygen evolution catalysts produces phenol, which may cause performance deterioration in AEM electrolyzers. In-line 1H NMR kinetic analyses of phenyl oxidation in a model organic cation electrolyte shows that catalyst type significantly impacts the phenyl oxidation rate at an oxygen evolution potential. Density functional theory calculations show that the phenyl adsorption is a critical factor determining the phenyl oxidation. This research provides a path for the development of more durable AEM electrolyzers with components that can minimize the adverse impact induced by the phenyl group oxidation, such as the development of novel ionomers with fewer phenyl moieties or catalysts with less phenyl-adsorbing character.


'doi: 10.1021/acsenergylett.0c01132\n - I.Am.Hydrogen'
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