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Electrocatalyst for Stable Hydrogen Evolution Reaction

COPelectrocatalystElectrochemical cellGreen economyhydrogenmetal nanostructuresWater splitting


Hydrogen is considered a promising fuel for the future of the green economy, due to its high energy density and its low environmental impact, as the only by-product resulting from its combustion is water. Currently, steam methane reforming is used to produce hydrogen, however, the process demands high energies and offsets CO and CO2 as by-products. The most suitable and environmentally friendly process is water electrolysis performed using electricity generated by solar or wind energy. Water electrolysis requires stable Hydrogen Evolution Reaction (HER) electrocatalysts, with the benchmark being platinum (Pt) deposited on mesoporous carbon. Despite its good performance, the activity of such catalyst degrades fast during the reaction due to the agglomeration of Pt. Furthermore, this electrocatalyst needs to be immobilized as it is available in powder form. Currently, to create a viable hydrogen economy the challenge is to develop a catalyst with not only a high activity but also a good stability under high current conditions.

Technical features

The method herein provided solves some of the aforementioned shortcomings. An electrocatalyst comprising a Titanium (Ti) substrate coated with a 3D copper nanostructured matrix, decorated with amorphous TiO2 and noble metal particles, such as platinum, palladium, ruthenium and gold, has been developed. The invention is suitable for a 3-electrode configuration electrochemical cell, where the working electrode is the electrocatalyst here presented, alongside a counter electrode, a reference electrode in an aqueous alkaline solution.

Possible Applications

  • Hydrogen production via hydrogen evolution reaction under alkaline conditions.


  • Simple manufacturing procedure, long-term stability and improved performance in basic media;
  • No agglomeration of noble metal particles;
  • Suitable for high current operations.