Efficient H2O decomposition - Transition-metal catalyst for the photocatalytic H2O decomposition


Ref.-No. 5198

Due to the low overvoltages and excellent kinetics for the hydrogen evolution reaction, mainly precious metals such as Pt, Rh, Au and containing precious metal oxides such as RuO2 and RhxCr2-xO3 have been used as co-catalysts for photocatalytic hydrogen evolution.

The large-scale implementation of sustainable hydrogen production, however, requires the development of new precious metal-free and thereby cost- effective co-catalysts. At this stage, the cheap and readily available transition metal are on offer. Therefore, the development of Cu- based co-catalysts is attracting increasing attention. So far, binary Cu-containing co-catalysts have been explored, which, however, show significantly lower reaction rates, compared to the precious metal-based catalysts.


Keywords: Edelmetallfrei, Katalysator, Photokatalyse, Wasser, Wasserstoff, Sauerstoff, Precious metal free, catalyst, photo catalysis, water, Hydrogen, oxygen

Commercial Opportunities

The invention "Efficient H2O- decomposition " refers to the synthesis of a precious metal-free mixed oxide catalyst by depostion of transition metal oxides on an n-type semiconducting material. A typical representative is e.g. obtained by the depostition of MOOx,, CROy, and CuOz on Ga2O3.

This quaternary catalyst systems exhibit activity and stability in the photocatalytic decomposition of water, which is comparable to those with established precious metal-containing catalysts systems. But in fact, they are more cost- effective. The new catalyst systems are also easy to regenerate and therfore make long service lives possible.

Competitive Advantages

  • Precious metal-free
  • Easy regenerable
  • High quantum yield
  • Highly scalable synthesis of three readily available metals

Current Status

The invention has been applied for patent. Do not hesitate to ask for status details. A proof-of-principle has been provided. On behalf of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, we offer interested companies the opportunity to license or purchase, as well as to further develop the technology. 


PROvendis GmbH · Schloßstr. 11 – 15
D – 45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr
T +49 (0)208 94105-0 ·