We tested the catalytic properties of various nickel and molybdenum electrodes as potential replacements for platinum for usage in alkaline water electrolysis. After initial tests found molybdenum-based electrodes to be significantly more effective than nickel electrodes, we moved to calculate overpotentials. We found nickel electrode overpotentials at ± 10 mA current to be 939 and -960 mV. Conversely, molybdenum electrode overpotentials at the same currents were 244 and -681 mV respectively. While still significantly higher than overpotentials for platinum, these results indicate that, with more testing, molybdenum-based electrodes could eventually emerge as a cheaper, more abundant alternative to platinum electrodes.
Bartol, Lance T. and Doyle, James
"Effectiveness of Different Materials as Catalysts for Alkaline Water Electrolysis,"
Macalester Journal of Physics and Astronomy: Vol. 11:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/mjpa/vol11/iss1/1