A team of researchers from the U.S-based Georgia Institute of Technology have designed ultrafine perovskite nanofibers as highly efficient and stable catalysts for OER - oxygen evolution reaction, a component reaction of the electrochemical splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen. Water splitting is a key step in a number of sustainable energy technologies including hydrogen production, fuel cells, and rechargeable metal-air batteries.
The OER takes place at the anode of an electrolyzer, while the hydrogen evolution reaction takes place at the cathode. The energy required for the reaction is supplied by an electronic current. Currently, a large overpotential is required to accelerate the OER. For this reason, water splitting technologies for hydrogen production are not very competitive as the increased energy required results in more expensive hydrogen compared with production from natural gas. Therefore, much research is focused on the search for cost-effective, efficient and stable catalysts for the OER that can reduce the required overpotential. The new research highlights the potential of doped double perovskite nanofibers as the next generation of OER catalysts.