Abstract

The hydrogen-based economy is gaining momentum with the advent of fuel cell electric cars and other systems. Hence hydrogen production becomes critically important to meet a supply demand in the near future. One of the cheapest hydrogen generation sources can be solar energy and seawater or water in the lakes and rivers. One can utilize solar energy to provide electricity or energy for the photocatalytic process to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Under electrolysis, electricity is supplied to provide the energy required for water splitting converting hydrogen ions into hydrogen gas from the aqueous medium. There is a strong need to create innovative electrodes for hydrogen generation that are economical in production and highly efficient. To address this issue, we focused on designing electrodes for photocatalytic electrolysis for hydrogen generation. We used 3D printing to produce different electrodes with various surface features to provide optimum surface area and used electroless nickel to coat the surface of the 3D printed metal components. It is noteworthy that nickel is a promising metal to produce hydrogen economically. We used the Taguchi Design of Experiment approach to optimize the nickel coating on the 3D printed metal electrodes. We used cyclic voltammetry to quantify the volume of H2 produced by the nickel-coated 3D printed electrodes.

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