In this work, an inexpensive and reliable microstructured electrode for the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) is developed. This cathode is made of Earth-abundant elements consisting of iron phosphide as an electrocatalyst and carbon felt (CF) as a flexible conductive scaffold. Its porous character and binder-free FeP coverage over the carbon fibers generate a high number of accessible active sites for the reaction, achieving a high value of the electrochemically active surface area. The electrode reaches 100 mA ⋅ cm−2 by applying only −53 mV vs RHE at 50 °C in 0.5 M H2SO4, demonstrating excellent electrocatalytic activity for the HER and outstanding stability in acidic electrolyte. Furthermore, the feasibility of these electrodes for industrial application is evaluated using a PEM electrolyzer. The developed prototype with a cathodic area of 1.8 cm2 shows a very promising performance, reaching 14.9 mmol H2 ⋅ h−1 ⋅ cm−2 (corresponding to 800 mA ⋅ cm−2) at a voltage of only 2.1 V.
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- FeP nanoparticles
- PEM electrolyzer
- carbon felt
- hydrogen evolution reaction
- water splitting
ASJC Scopus subject areas