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Development of multifunctional nanocatalysts to renewable/sustainable production of molecular hydrogen from crude glycerol in PEM electrolyser cells

Grant number: 16/21940-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2017
Effective date (End): January 24, 2018
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Edson Antonio Ticianelli
Grantee:Rodrigo Garcia da Silva
Host Institution: Instituto de Química de São Carlos (IQSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/16930-7 - Electrocatalysis V: electrocatalytic processes of chemical and electrical energy interconversion, AP.TEM


The growing interest in the production of molecular hydrogen has revived the development of the polymer electrolyte membrane electrolyzers. Such technology present many advantages compared to other systems, especially regarding the energy efficiency and the purity of the obtained hydrogen. In addition, the versatility of the electrolyzers enable coupling with other processes, such as the possibility of electro-oxidizing biomass-derived fuels in the anodic compartment, turning it quite attractive from an economic and environmental perspective. However, despite the many advantages presented by the electrolysis-based systems, many challenges must be faced in order to obtain a viable hydrogen production system, especially concerning the electrocatalytic activity and the operational stability. Based on this background, the focus of this research project is the development of an electrolysis-based hydrogen generation from the electroconversion of crude glycerol. This process aims not only to obtain pure hydrogen, but also to produce value-added products with high industrial interest from the electrooxidation of this biodiesel waste. Initially, a single Pt-based electrocatalyst composition will be employed in both cathode and anode. Such material will be synthesized by reproductive methodologies that enable large-scale application of a multifunctional electrocatalytic nanomaterial for selective electroconversion of crude glycerol and hydrogen cogeneration, simultaneously. In a subsequent stage, ruthenium- and iridium-based oxide electrocatalysts will be synthesized aiming to promote the mineralization of the crude glycerol at the anodic compartment. This will create a co-participative environmental friendly system that employs a single energy demand, performing concomitant waste treatment and fuel production. (AU)

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