Design of Mg-Ni alloys for fast hydrogen generation from seawater and their application in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

Se Kwon Oh, Min Joong Kim, Kwang Sup Eom, Joon Seok Kyung, Do Hyang Kim, Eun Ae Cho, Hyuk Sang Kwon

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Mg and its alloys are very attractive for hydrogen generation via hydrolysis because their hydrolysis reaction occurs in neutral seawater instead of the alkaline water necessary for the hydrolysis of Al and its alloys. The hydrogen generation rate from the hydrolysis of Mg is proportional to the corrosion rate of Mg to Mg2+. Mg powder, though producing a high reaction rate in the hydrolysis, causes explosive dangers when in contact with air or moisture. However, Bulk Mg such as plate and sheet exhibits an extremely low hydrogen generation rate. To overcome the disadvantage, Mg-Ni alloys were designed to form an electrochemically noble phase (Mg2Ni) along grain boundaries (G.B.), and hence to significantly accelerate the hydrolysis rate by causing a galvanic and intergranular corrosion between the noble Mg2Ni and Mg matrix. In particular, the Mg-2.7Ni alloy among the designed Mg-Ni alloys exhibits the highest hydrogen generation rate (23.8 ml min-1 g-1) that is 1300 times faster than that of pure Mg. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that PEMFC stably produced 7.3 W for 20 min when it is operated by the hydrogen generated from the hydrolysis of 2 g Mg-2.7Ni alloy, that is, equivalent to 1.215 KWh/Kg-Mg-2.7Ni alloy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5296-5303
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 16


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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