New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Innovative catalysts

February 16, 2022
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Highly efficient (electro-)catalysts are essential for the production of green hydrogen, the chemical industry, fertilizer production and other sectors of the economy. In addition to transition metals, a variety of other metallic or non-metallic elements have now moved into the focus of research.

Green hydrogen is an important component in a climate-neutral energy system. It is produced by electrolytically splitting water with wind or solar power and stores this energy in chemical form. But currently, the production of green hydrogen is not yet economical or efficient enough. The key to solving this problem is through the development of innovative electrocatalysts, which should not only work with high efficiencies but should also be available and inexpensive.

In addition to transition metals, which are already well studied for their catalytic properties, a wider choice of elements has now moved into the focus such as alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, rare earth metals, lean metals and metalloids. Some of these when combined with transition metal electrocatalysts can significantly improve performance and contribute to the development of next-generation high-performance electrocatalysts.

However, many of the processes that take place during electrocatalysis -when oxygen or hydrogen is formed -- are still not understood in detail. In a review article, an international team of experts guides us through this exciting research field and draws a perspective, sketching the next steps catalyst research could take. "This contribution summarises the current state of knowledge on such unconventional s-, p-, and f-block metal-based materials and makes it comprehensible to a wider community of scientists," Dr. Prashanth W. Menezes points out and adds: "Further, the essential role of such metals during water splitting electrocatalysis is described in great depth, as well as the modification strategy that should be considered when one wants to utilize them to mediate non-noble-based electrocatalysts. We hope to significantly accelerate research and development of novel, innovative catalyst materials with this review article."

Note: Dr. Prashanth W. Menezes is Head of Materials Chemistry for Thin-Film Catalysis Group in the CatLab-Project at HZB and Head of Inorganic Materials Group at TU Berlin.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ziliang Chen, Hongyuan Yang, Zhenhui Kang, Matthias Driess, Prashanth W. Menezes. The Pivotal Role of s‐, p‐, and f‐Block Metals in Water Electrolysis: Status Quo and Perspectives. Advanced Materials, 2022; 2108432 DOI: 10.1002/adma.202108432

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. "Innovative catalysts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 February 2022. <>.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. (2022, February 16). Innovative catalysts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2024 from
Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie. "Innovative catalysts." ScienceDaily. (accessed July 22, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily