MoSoy Catalyst

Organization: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Year: 2016

MoSoy Catalyst is a low-cost, durable and effective catalyst that is made from biomass and inexpensive earth-abundant transition metals for the production of hydrogen. The catalyst is used as a cathode electrode in a solar photochemical electrolysis cell to split water into hydrogen (at a cathode) and oxygen (at an anode) using sunlight. Hydrogen is a promising power source for vehicular and stationary applications, solving the problems of depletion of fossil fuel reserves and CO2 emissions. Sustainable and affordable hydrogen production is indispensable for the commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Current electrocatalytic systems for H2 generation typically incorporate noble metals such as Pt in the cathode catalysts, because their low overpotentials (h) and fast kinetics of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER).  Replacement of platinum-based catalysts by low-cost and earth-abundant materials is a key for this technology to become economically viable. The present catalyst is made with a natural resource (soybean) and an earth-abundant transition metal (Mo) and is utilized as a heterogeneous hydrogen-evolving catalyst (MoSoy).