Acidic Oxygen Evolution Reaction: Fundamental Understanding and Electrocatalysts Design

Jiao Li, Weichen Tian, Qi Li*, Shenlong Zhao*
ChemSusChem, e202400239, (2024)


Water electrolysis driven by “green electricity“ is an ideal technology to realize energy conversion and store renewable energy into hydrogen. With the development of proton exchange membrane (PEM), water electrolysis in acidic media suitable for many situations with an outstanding advantage of high gas purity has attracted significant attention. Compared with hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) in water electrolysis, oxygen evolution reaction (OER) is a kinetic sluggish process that needs a higher overpotential. Especially in acidic media, OER process poses higher requirements for the electrocatalysts, such as high efficiency, high stability and low costs. This review focuses on the acidic OER electrocatalysis, reaction mechanisms, and critical parameters used to evaluate performance. Especially the modification strategies applied in the design and construction of new-type electrocatalysts are also summarized. The characteristics of traditional noble metal-based electrocatalysts and the noble metal-free electrocatalysts developed in recent decades are compared and discussed. Finally, the current challenges for the most promising acidic OER electrocatalysts are presented, together with a perspective for future water electrolysis.