Electrocatalysis process involves the use of an electric current to drive a electrochemical reaction at an electrode surface. In this process, a catalyst facilitates the electron transfer between the reactants and the electrode, promoting or enhancing the desired electrochemical reaction. Electrocatalysis is widely applied in various fields, including energy conversion, electrochemical sensors, and industrial processes.

PartCat leads the development of electrocatalytic and photo(electrocatalytic) systems for a range of energy conversion reactions including CO2 reduction into (oxy)hydrocarbons and urea, hydrogen production, hydrogen peroxide production, and biomass conversion. We focus on nanoscale material design, scale-up engineering, membrane electrode assembly design, and implementation of demonstration scale electrolyser systems.

Competitive advantage

  • Fully equipped laboratory and world-leading research experts in catalytic and reactor design
  • Nanoscale design and scale-up of electrocatalytic materials and integration into demonstration scale (1.5 kW) electrolyzer systems
  • Expertise in a range of electrocatalytic energy conversion reactions including CO2 reduction, hydrogen production, biomass reforming, and hydrogen peroxide production
  • Combined expertise from photocatalysis and electrocatalysis to design state-of-the-art photo-electrocatalytic systems


  • Using the electrolyser systems and nanoscale catalyst design, we have demonstrated:
    • Efficient syngas, liquid hydrocarbon, and urea production using waste CO3 and NO3- streams
    • Hydrogen production competitive with the highest reported production rates at minimal electrical energy input
    • Decentralised hydrogen peroxide production using renewable energy inputs 
    • Biomass conversion reactions that enable the production of value-added products (such as FDCA)
  • Development of photo-electrocatalytic electrolyser systems which enable direct harnessing of solar energy and hydrogen production with solar-to-hydrogen efficiency of >20% for a 1 kW pilot system

Successful applications 

  • On-site industry project on highly efficient and low-cost photovoltaic-electrolysis system to generate hydrogen (1kW)
  • CO2 and NO3- conversion to carbon monoxide, syngas, formic acid, and urea with current densities up to 500 mA cm-2 as well as other liquid products
  • Onsite production of hydrogen peroxide solutions with a wide range of concentrations (~ 0.05 wt% to 5 wt%) using only water and air inputs
  • A stand-alone system incorporating solar-thermal and photovoltaic-powered electrocatalytic technologies to generate renewable hydrogen and FDCA (a platform chemical) from waste biomass

Capabilities and facilities 

  • Nanoparticle synthesis and characterisation techniques
  • A range of electrolyzer systems for electrode testing (from 3-electrode cells to 1.5 kW system) with light enhancement capabilities
  • Demonstration scale reactor electrolyser system (1.5 kW 10-stack system)
  • Product detection capabilities (NMR, GC/MS, UV-Vis) and a wide range of electrocatalytic reactions