Nur Laila Hamidah, Masataka Shintani, Aynul Sakinah Ahmad Fauzi, Shota Kitamura, Elaine G. Mission, Kazuto Hatakeyama, Mitsuru Sasaki, Armando T. Quitain, Tetsuya Kida
January 11, 2021
Water electrolysis is an environment-friendly process of producing hydrogen with zero-carbon emission. Herein, we studied the water vapor electrolysis using a proton-conducting membrane composed of graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets intercalated with cations (Al 3+ and Ce 3+ ). We examined the effect of cation introduction on the physical and chemical structures, morphology, thermal and chemical stabilities, and the proton conductivity of stacked GO nanosheet membranes by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray photoemission spectroscopy (XPS), Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), thermogravimetric-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Concentration cell measurements revealed that the cation-modified membranes are pure proton conductors at room temperature. The proton conductivity of a GO membrane was much improved by cation modification. The cation-modified GO membranes, sandwiched with Pt/C electrodes as the cathode and anode, electrolyzed humidified air to produce hydrogen at room temperature, indicating the feasibility of this carbon-based electrochemical device.