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Scientists develop energy-efficient hydrogen production by urea electrolysis

  • IASbaba
  • March 10, 2022
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Scientists develop energy-efficient hydrogen production by urea electrolysis

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III: Science and Technology

Context: Indian Scientists have designed an electrocatalyst system for energy-efficient hydrogen production with the help of electrolysis of urea. 

  • The urea electrolysis is helpful towards urea-based waste treatment with low-cost hydrogen production. This can be utilized for energy production towards our country’s benefits.
  • The energy requirement for production of hydrogen through water electrolysis can be reduced by 70 % through urea electrolysis. The energy-intensive counterpart of water splitting, oxygen evolution, can be replaced with urea oxidation in urea electrolysis. 
  • The low-cost, earth-abundant Ni-based catalysts are widely applied for this process. The main challenge associated with urea oxidation is retaining the prolonged activity of the catalyst as the strong adsorption of the reactive intermediate (COx) on the active site, referred to as catalyst poisoning, causes activity loss.

Significance

  • The urea electrolysis is helpful towards urea-based waste treatment with low-cost hydrogen production. India is one of the top countries by urea production, and it produced 244.55 LMT of urea during 2019-20. 
  • The nitrogenous fertilizer industries generate a high concentration of ammonia and urea as effluents. This can be utilized for energy production towards our country’s benefits.

News Source: PIB

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