Description:
Background
Understanding the fundamentals of electrochemical interfaces will undoubtedly reveal a path forward towards a society based on clean and renewable energy. In particular, it has been proposed that hydrogen can play a major role as an energy carrier of the future. To fully utilize the clean energy potential of a hydrogen economy, it is vital to produce hydrogen via water electrolysis, thus avoiding the co-production of CO2 inherent to reformate hydrogen. While significant research efforts elsewhere are focused on photochemical hydrogen production from water, the inherently low efficiency of this method would require a massive land-use footprint to achieve sufficient hydrogen production rates to integrate hydrogen into energy markets. 
 
Technology Overview
In this invention, the electrocatalyst developed in the NU lab exhibited a significantly increased stability in the highly corrosive hydrogen bromide/bromine (HBr/Br2) electrolyte of the H2-Br2 redox flow battery (HB-RFB) system compared to a commercial standard platinum Pt/C catalyst. This novel catalyst material exhibits an increased tolerance to halide adsorption and corrosion compared to state-of-the-art commercial Pt/C and Pt-Ir/C catalysts. This catalyst material presents the opportunity to commercialize the HB-RFB system for grid-scale energy storage. The primary advantage of the HB-RFB system over the current state-of-the-art vanadium redox flow battery (V-RFB) system is the orders-of-magnitude higher power-density achievable by the HB-RFB system. Redox flow batteries represent a promising energy storage option to overcome the intermittency challenge of wind and solar energy production methods. 
 
Benefits
- Faster Hydrogen Oxidation and Evolution Reaction (HER/HOR) kinetics 
- State-of-the-art Pt/C and Pt-Ir/C are completely and irreversible deactivated by high-voltage cycling
- State-of-the-art Pt/C and Pt-Ir/C catalysts are completely and irreversibly deactivated by high-voltage conditions caused by exposure to Br2
 
Applications
- Pt-Ir-Nx/C can be used in reversible hydrogen electrode of H2-Br2 redox flow battery (HB-RFB)
- HB-RFB can be used for grid-scale energy storage
- HB-RFB can be used for grid-scale power buffering
- Cathode for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer
 
Opportunity
- Licensing
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
m.saulich@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Sanjeev Mukerjee
Michael Bates
Shraboni Ghoshal
Keywords: