Exfoliated molybdenum di-sulfide (MoS2) electrode for hydrogen production in microbial electrolysis cell

Shmuel Rozenfeld, Hanan Teller, Michal Schechter, Ravit Farber, Olga Krichevski, Alex Schechter, Rivka Cahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The most widely reported catalyst in microbial electrochemical cells (MEC) cathodes is platinum (Pt). The disadvantages of Pt include its high cost and sensitivity to various molecules. In this research an exfoliated molybdenum di-sulfide (MoS2-EF) catalyst was synthesized. The size of the obtained particles was 200 ± 50 nm, 50-fold smaller than the pristine MoS2 catalyst. The MoS2-EF Raman spectrum displays the E1 2g and A1g peaks at 373 cm−1 and 399 cm−1. Electrochemical characterization by linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) of a rotating disc electrode RDE showed that the current density of Pt in 0.5 M H2SO4 was 3.3 times higher than MoS2-EF. However, in phosphate buffer (pH-7) electrolyte this ratio diminished to 1.9. The polarization curve of Pt, MoS2-EF and the pristine MoS2 electrodes, at −1.3 V in MEC configuration in abiotic conditions exhibit current densities of 17.46, 12.67 and 3.09 mA cm−2, respectively. Hydrogen evolution rates in the same MEC with a Geobacter sulfurreducens anode and Pt, MoS2-EF and the pristine MoS2 cathodes were 0.106, 0.133 and 0.083 m3 d−1 m−3, respectively. The results in this study show that MoS2-EF led to highly purified hydrogen and that this catalyst can serve as an electrochemical active and cost-effective alternative to Pt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Catalysts
  • Geobacter sulfurreducens
  • Hydrogen production
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • Molybdenum di-sulfide


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