Topics in Current Chemistry

, 376:42 | Cite as

Recent Advances in the Electro-Oxidation of Urea for Direct Urea Fuel Cell and Urea Electrolysis

  • Ke Ye
  • Gang Wang
  • Dianxue CaoEmail author
  • Guoxiong WangEmail author
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Electrocatalysis


This paper provides an overview of recent advances in urea electro-oxidation. Urea sources are abundant from human urine, urea-containing wastewater, and industrial urea, thus becoming an attractive option as anodic fuel for the application in direct urea fuel cells (DUFCs). Besides, as a hydrogen-rich chemical fuel, urea can also be electrolyzed to produce hydrogen for energy storage in the near future. The exact mechanisms of urea decomposition are pretty different in alkaline or neutral mediums and are separately discussed in detail. More importantly, the development of anodic electro-catalysts is of great significance for improving the electrochemical performance of both DUFCs and urea electrolysis cells, which is systematically summarized in our review. Challenges and prospects on the future development of urea electro-oxidation are particularly proposed.


Fuel cells Electrolysis Urea Electro-oxidation Electro-catalyst 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51672056), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M630307), the Heilongjiang Postdoctoral Scientific Research Developmental Fund (LBH-Q16044), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (HEUCF181007). G.X. Wang is thankful for the financial support from Outstanding Youth Talent Project of Dalian (Grant No. 2017RJ03) and CAS Youth Innovation Promotion (Grant No. 2015145).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Superlight Materials and Surface Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Materials Science and Chemical EngineeringHarbin Engineering UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy, Dalian Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesDalianPeople’s Republic of China

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