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  1. This work reveals how electrode binders affect reaction kinetics, ionic conductivity, and gas transport in electrochemical hydrogen pumps (EHPs). Using a blend of phosphonic acid and perfluorosulfonic acid ionomers as the electrode binder, an EHP was operated at 5 A cm−2.

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  2. Water electrolysis using renewable energy inputs is being actively pursued as a green route for hydrogen production. However, it is limited by the high energy consumption due to the sluggish anodic oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and safety issues associated with H2 and O2 mixing. Here, we replaced OER with an electrocatalytic oxidative dehydrogenation (EOD) of aldehydes for bipolar H2 production and achieved industrial-level current densities at cell voltages much lower than during water electrolysis. Experimental and computational studies suggest a reasonable barrier for C-H dissociation on Cu surfaces, mainly through a diol intermediate, with a potential-dependent competition with the solution-phase Cannizzaro reaction. The kinetics of EOD reaction was further enhanced by a porous CuAg catalyst prepared from a galvanic replacement method. Through Ag incorporation and its modification of the Cu surface, the geometric current density and electrocatalyst durability were significantly improved. Finally, we engineered a bipolar H2 production system in membrane-electrode assembly-based flow cells to facilitate mass transport, achieving a maximum current density of 248 and 390 mA cm−2 at cell voltages of 0.4 V and 0.6 V, respectively. The faradaic efficiency of H2 from both cathode and anode reactions both attained ~100%. Taking advantage of the bipolar H2 production without the issues associated with H2/O2 mixing, an inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture dialysis porous membrane was demonstrated to substitute the costly anion exchange membrane, achieving an energy-efficient and cost-effective process in a simple reactor for H2 production. The estimated H2 price of $2.51/kg from an initial technoeconomic assessment is competitive with US DoE’s “Green H2” targets. 
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