Water electrolysis is a cornerstone of renewable energy storage technology, but still requires a strong value proposition to become widespread and economically viable. Our electrolysis systems, enabled by the development of highly selective catalysts, simultaneously treat organic wastewater and generate renewable fuel. They oxidize contaminants in wastewater selectively, preventing anode dissolution and without changing the water itself - similar to the way a catalytic converter removes harmful contaminants in the air.
Current state-of-the-art processes to treat organic wastewater are multi-step, unstable, energy-intensive, and costly, while our method is additive-free, efficient, and employs selective catalysts on the surface of a stationary electrode. Proof-of-concept experiments for these reactions have been successful, prototypes have been built, and functioning lab-scale electrolyzer stacks are in use.
Our technology is enabled by recently-discovered surface-bound molecular
electrocatalysts, a new type of material that enables oxidation chemistry at
high efficiency. Integrated into a polymer electrolyte membrane
electrolyzer, these catalysts are able to oxidize dilute organic contaminants
into a concentrated stream of salable pure carbon dioxide at the anode with
concomitant production of hydrogen gas via proton reduction at the cathode.
This technology is patent pending, under US Patent Applications 15/283,403
For information on these materials, see our Nature Communications article, that outlines their application toward water oxidation. Patents owned by Yale University are licensed to Catalytic Innovations, on iridium complexes and hybrid metal oxide-organic materials. To purchase our catalyst materials for R&D, see their listings on Strem Chemicals: