News Release

Highly active catalyst for alkaline water electrolysis using typical elements

Peer-Reviewed Publication

University of Tsukuba

Tsukuba, Japan―One must reduce the utilization rate of fossil fuels and use renewable energy generated using solar and wind power efficiently to achieve a carbon-neutral society, where greenhouse gas emissions and absorption are balanced. Moreover, hydrogen (green hydrogen) obtained from water electrolysis using renewable energy is crucial for reducing the environmental impact. Electrode catalysts promote oxygen evolution reactions to make water electrolysis efficient. Currently, rare and expensive precious metals, such as ruthenium and iridium, are used for the fabrication of electrocatalysts. However, novel electrocatalyst materials that utilize more abundant and less expensive elements must be developed in a bid to ensure the sustainable development of our society.

The research group led by the University of Tsukuba has previously reported the synthesis of rhombohedral boron monosulfide (r-BS), comprising boron and sulfur in a 1:1 composition ratio and having abundant reserves, as a potential material for fabricating such a novel electrocatalyst material. In this study, the research group has successfully synthesized r-BS + G (i.e., r-BS complexed with graphene nanoplatelets which are sheet-like carbon). Furthermore, it served as an electrocatalyst for water electrolysis in alkaline aqueous solution and exhibited high catalytic activity for the oxygen evolution reaction. Additionally, it is assumed that this catalyst can be used in practical green hydrogen production system upon further enhancement in its catalytic activity.

This work was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through the Adaptable and Seamless Technology Transfer Program through Target-driven R&D (A-STEP) [grant number JPMJTR22T4]; the MEXT Element Strategy Initiative to Form Core Research Center [grant number JPMXP0112101001]; JSPS KAKENHI [grant numbers JP18K18989, JP19H02551, JP19H05046:A01, JP20H05673, JP21H05012, JP22K18964, JP22K14643, and JP21H00015:B01 Hydrogenomics]; MHI Innovation Accelerator LLC; and the MEXT Program for Promoting Research on the Supercomputer Fugaku (Fugaku Battery & Fuel Cell Project) [grant number JPMXP1020200301]. Parallel computations were performed using the Fugaku supercomputer provided by the RIKEN Center for Computational Science [Project ID: hp150275 and hp220088] and FLOW provided by Nagoya University.


Original Paper

Title of original paper:
Boron monosulfide as an electrocatalyst for the oxygen evolution reaction

Chemical Engineering Journal



Professor KONDO, Takahiro
Institute of Pure and Applied Science, University of Tsukuba

Professor FUJITA, Takeshi
Kochi University of Technology

Associate Professor YAMAMOTO, Akiyasu
Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

Related Link

Institute of Pure and Applied Sciences

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