On the use of ammonia electrolysis for hydrogen production

Frédéric Vitse, Matt Cooper, Gerardine G. Botte

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244 Scopus citations


An ammonia alkaline electrolytic cell for the production of hydrogen is presented. Challenges involved in using ammonia electro-oxidation for sustainable, low-cost, high-purity hydrogen production are identified and solutions are proposed. Electrodeposition was selected as a technique of preparing low-loading ammonia electrocatalysts. The efficiency of the electrolytic cell was improved by using bimetallic electrodeposited catalysts (at both electrodes) containing Pt and a low concentration of secondary metals (Ru, Ir). Pt-Ir deposits showed the highest activity toward ammonia oxidation. An experimental procedure is shown which minimizes the reversible deactivation of the electrode. Significant current densities were obtained (above 100 mA cm-2) during electrolysis testing at relatively low metal loading, low cell voltages, and high cell efficiencies. These results point to ammonia electrolysis as a promising candidate for an alternative process for low-cost, low-temperature, high-purity hydrogen production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 24 2005


  • Alkaline fuel cell
  • Ammonia electrolysis
  • Bimetallic catalyst
  • Electrodeposition
  • Hydrogen production
  • Water reduction


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