Research on future developments in the field of hydrogen production


Published in the journal Nature Catalysis, the research entitled "Operando visualization of the hydrogen evolution reaction with atomic scale precision at different metal-graphene interfaces" uses sophisticated instrumentation developed in Padua (Electrochemical Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, EC-STM) in collaboration with an electrochemistry group from the Department of Chemical Sciences. Coordinated by Stefano Agnoli of the same department, the research demonstrates individual catalytic sites using atomic resolution during the electrochemical process of hydrogen production.

A hydrogen economy aims at developing renewable energy sources but, in order to achieve such an ambitious goal, the solution must include sustainable production of hydrogen from water using a low-cost electrochemical process called green hydrogen.  The low environmental impact and the virtually infinite availability of raw material makes the green hydrogen process compatible with seawater.

However, this requires a catalytic optimization essential for an electrochemical process that is both inexpensive and efficient. Currently, researchers in the field are studying a path that allows the optimization of catalytic materials suitable for achieving this goal.

The Surface Science and Catalysis Group (SSCG) of the Department of Chemical Sciences (DiSC) of the University of Padua directed by Gaetano Granozzi, in collaboration with the theoretical group of the University of Milan Bicocca directed by Cristiana Di Valentin, achieved extraordinary results set to impact future developments in the field of hydrogen production.