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Yihao Shan

Yihao Shan_0.jpeg

PhD Candidate | UNSW Sydney

When I was studying for my master’s degree in photovoltaic and solar energy, I realized energy storage is a trickier issue faced by renewables. Compared with the successfully commercialized solar cell industry, green hydrogen has more challenges and opportunities. I wish my work could make a difference to the world, even tiny.

Project title: Development of electrocatalyst in PEM electrolyzers

The development of water electrolysis for hydrogen production plays a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable energy future. Electrolysis, the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable electricity, offers an eco-friendly solution for hydrogen production while addressing the intermittency of renewable energy sources by storing excess energy, thereby enhancing grid stability. Despite its immense potential, water electrolysis technology faces challenges related to the sluggish kinetics of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and oxygen evolution reaction (OER), as well as the need for advanced electrolyzer design.

My research aims to deal with the most challenging issues in developing green hydrogen production from water electrolysis. It includes photovoltaic electrolysis (PVE) integration, seawater splitting, and highly cost-effective HER and OER catalyst development in proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.

Research Progress:

  • Developed a high-performance zero-gap alkaline water electrolyzer without noble metal, resulted in an integrated CPV+AWE system with world-record solar to hydrogen (STH) efficiency of over 30%. 

  • Developed a stable OER electrode in seawater splitting which can meet the industrial current density demands (500mA/cm2) and perform for at least 100 hours without obvious degeneration.

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