Direct Seawater Electrolysis: From Catalyst Design to Device Applications

Hao Fei, Ruoqi Liu, Min Ju, Ziyi Wang, Siyuan Wang, Yunze Zhang, Wen Chen, Zhuangzhi Wu, Meng Ni, Jian Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Direct seawater electrolysis (DSE) for hydrogen production, using earth-abundant seawater as the feedstock and renewable electricity as the driving source, paves a new opportunity for flexible energy conversion/storage and smooths the volatility of renewable energy. Unfortunately, the complex environments of seawater impose significant challenges on the design of DSE catalysts, and the practical performance of many current DSE catalysts remains unsatisfactory on the device level. However, many studies predominantly concentrate on the development of electrocatalysts for DSE without giving due consideration to the specific devices. To mitigate this gap, the most recent progress (mainly published within the year 2020–2023) of DSE electrocatalysts and devices are systematically evaluated. By discussing key bottlenecks, corresponding mitigation strategies, and various device designs and applications, the tremendous challenges in addressing the trade-off among activity, stability, and selectivity for DSE electrocatalysts by a single shot are emphasized. In addition, the rational design of the DSE electrocatalysts needs to align with the specific device configuration, which is more effective than attempting to comprehensively enhance all catalytic parameters. This work, featuring the first review of this kind to consider rational catalyst design in the framework of DSE devices, will facilitate practical DSE development.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 2023


  • catalyst design
  • device application
  • direct seawater electrolysis
  • energy storage
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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