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Electrochemical investigations on amorphous Fe-base alloys for alkaline water electrolysis

: Müller, C.I.; Rauscher, T.; Schmidt, A.; Schubert, T.; Weißgärber, T.; Kieback, B.; Röntzsch, L.


International journal of hydrogen energy 39 (2014), No.17, pp.8926-8937
ISSN: 0360-3199
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM, Institutsteil Pulvermetallurgie und Verbundwerkstoffe Dresden ()

In this work different amorphous melt-spun Fe-alloys (Fe82B 18, Fe80Si10B10, Fe 60Co20Si10B10) were investigated as cathode materials for the alkaline electrolysis of water. In particular, the influence of cobalt as well as the metalloids boron and silicon on the activity for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) was studied in 1 M KOH at 298 K using cyclic voltammetric, galvanostatic and polarization techniques. The electrocatalytic activity was evaluated in the view of the overpotential. It was found that cyclic voltammetric techniques can be used to activate the melt-spun Fe-alloys strongly. Different cyclic voltammetric activation procedures are discussed and the influence of the sweep rate and the potential window on the HER activity was elucidated. The experimental data indicate that the addition of metalloids and, most importantly, of cobalt improves the HER activity of the materials. Thus, the overpotential can be reduced by 200 mV compared to polycrystalline Ni.