Theoretical and experimental aspects of the use of mesoporous carbons in carbon-assisted water electrolysis (CAWE) to produce pure hydrogen at room temperature are presented. It is shown that the electrical energy requirements for CAWE can be as low as 20% of the energy needed for conventional water electrolysis, the extra energy coming from the electrochemical oxidation of carbon occurring at room temperature. Although CO2 is produced at the anode in this process, it is well separated from pure H2 produced at the cathode. Experimental results are reviewed for a variety of carbons with the major focus on the results obtained with carbon BP2000, which has both mesopores and micropores and a nanocarbon produced by the hydrothermal treatment of microcrystalline cellulose.
Part of the book: Microporous and Mesoporous Materials