Optimized Transition Metal Phosphides for Direct Seawater Electrolysis: Current Trends

Yong Li, Tianran Xin, Zongcheng Cao, Weiran Zheng, Peng He, Lawrence Yoon Suk Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Seawater electrolysis presents a viable route for sustainable large-scale hydrogen production, yet its practical application is hindered by several technical challenges. These include the sluggish kinetics of hydrogen evolution, poor stability, cation deposition at the cathode, electrode corrosion, and competing chloride oxidation at the anode. To overcome these obstacles, the development of innovative electrocatalysts is crucial. Transition metal phosphides (TMPs) have emerged as promising candidates owing to their superior catalytic performance and tunable structural properties. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of recent progress in the structural engineering of TMPs tailored for efficient seawater electrolysis. We delve into the catalytic mechanisms underpinning hydrogen and oxygen evolution reactions in different pH conditions, along with the detrimental side reactions that impede hydrogen production efficiency. Several methods to prepare TMPs are then introduced. Additionally, detailed discussions on structural modifications and interface engineering tactics are presented, showcasing strategies to enhance the activity and durability of TMP electrocatalysts. By analyzing current research findings, our review aims to inform ongoing research endeavors and foster advancements in seawater electrolysis for practical and ecologically sound hydrogen generation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202301926
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2024


  • interface engineering
  • seawater splitting
  • structural modification
  • transition metal phosphides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Energy


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