The work of R Vaidyanathan on ’Preparation of a Covalent Organic Framework (abbreviated as COF) that can Serve as an Electrocatalyst to Split Water’ has led him to win a US patent. Vaidyanathan is a faculty member at IISER (Indian Institute of Science, Education, and Research), Pune.
IISER released a statement explaining the work of R Vaidyanathan in which it said that the constituent molecules of water, Oxygen and Hydrogen, thus released, have important industrial applications. Hydrogen can have potential use of being an alternative to the hydrocarbon fuels that are widely used. Oxygen, on the other hand, can be used as a reagent in several industrial processes.
The use of electrocatalysts, along with the application of electricity, can aid in the activation of water splitting. Nanoparticles can be good electrocatalysts but they are mostly grown by using capping agents. Capping agents do help in particle size-reduction but they can also impede the accessibility to these particles and thereby the whole kinetics of the reaction.
The release also mentioned that the Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) that are prepared by R Vaidyanathan and his team offer a promising and better alternative to these capping agents. This adds speed to the reaction and makes it significantly faster.
The US Patent 10, 301, 727 B2 citations declared that R Vaidyanathan, D Mullangi, and S Nandi (2019) Covalent Organic Frameworks (COFs) as porous support for metal-based non-noble water splitting electrocatalysts.
The Indian Institute of Science, Education, and Research of Pune was established in the year 2006. It is one of India’s seven IISERs and conducts admission through three channels - the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced, Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY), and IISER Aptitude Test. IISER Pune offers integrated programmes of BS-MS and doctoral programmes.