Towards hydrogen production using a breathable electrode structure to directly separate gases in the water splitting reaction

Orawan Winther-Jensen, Khwanrat Chatjaroenporn, Bjorn Winther Jensen, Douglas R. MacFarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


A novel electrode design to directly separate the gases and improve the efficiency of the water splitting reaction is described. In this work, platinum was used as a model catalyst, deposited on porous membranes with different pore size and shape. The O 2 evolution rate was monitored at the gaseous side of these breathable electrodes. We show that the hydrophobic Goretex ® membrane electrodes provide a highly efficient removal of the gases, breathing out 92% of expected O 2 during water splitting, and thereby also largely avoiding the well known migration of oxygen to the cathode in the absence of a separator in the cell. The breathable structure is also shown to operate as a hydrogen electrode. The ability to separate the two gases, without the need for a separator, decreases gas cross-over and thereby enhances the coloumbic efficiency. Merging this approach with catalysts and photocatalysts of a variety of types e.g. non-precious metal and metal oxides will allow fabrication of cost efficient and straightforward water splitting devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8185-8189
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May
Externally publishedYes



  • Breathable electrodes
  • Gas separation
  • Hydrogen production
  • Water oxidation
  • Water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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