Improving the efficiency of metal electrolysis
Supercomputer simulations select the most efficient catalysts for metal electrolysis.
Researchers from MIT and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, both in the USA, have mapped the atomic level of metal electrolysis for a wide range of metals.
The team has found the metals that are easiest to produce using electrolysis as well as barriers to the efficient production of others.
Co-leader of the study Yang Shao-Horn says, 'Here we aim to establish some basic understanding to predict the efficiency of electrochemical metal production and metal-air batteries from examining computed thermodynamic barriers for the conversion between metal and metal oxides.'
The team capitalised on the larger research conducted on water electrolysis to understand metal electrolysis better, using supercomputer simulations.
Different catalysts were explored for the metals to find the most efficient reaction. The work effectively gives a guide to optimising catalysts for different metals.